The dung of the devil
Mammon in the New Testament of the Bible, is greed or material wealth, and in the Middle Ages was often personified as a deity, and sometimes included in the seven princes of Hell.
This book is about the church's accumulation of wealth and its byzantine entanglements with financial markets across the world. Told through 200 years of prelates, bishops, cardinals, and the Popes who oversee it all, Gerald Posner uncovers an eyebrow-raising account of money and power in perhaps the most influential organization in the history of the world.
There is no doubt, however, that between the church's priceless art, land, gold and investments across the globe, it is one of the wealthiest institutions on Earth.
The Catholic Church in Germany, already struggling to cope with the sex abuse scandal, has been hit by revelations of theft, opaque accounting and extravagance. While the grassroots faithful are being forced to make cutbacks, some bishops enjoy the trappings of the church's considerable hidden wealth.
Nobody really knows, because religious groups don't need to follow regular accounting and disclosure rules.
St. Patrick's Cathedral, New york
Christianity and colonialism are often closely associated because Catholicism and Protestantism were the religions of the European colonial powers and acted in many ways as the "religious arm" of those powers. ... Christianity is targeted by critics of colonialism because the tenets of the religion were used to justify the actions of the colonists.
During the Middle Ages the Church did become extremely wealthy; in gold and silver and in artistic treasures.
The Vatican Bank is a privately held institute situated exclusively on the sovereign territory of the Vatican City and run by a Board of Superintendence which reports to a Supervisory Commission of Cardinals and the Pope.
Untraceable cash transfers and a culture of secrecy made the Vatican bank one of the world's most notorious financial institutions.
Like the Catholic Church, the Vatican Bank has been steeped in mystery for much of the time it has been in operation.
The Catholic Church's financial past is littered with secrets.
Dung of the devil
Pope Francis at the Paul VI Audience Hall
Pope ... called the unfettered pursuit of money the dung of the devil,
It is an offense to say, "this golden tabernacle you kneel before — it should be melted for bread." The poor man in this position would do well to tell his just-escaped-the-Internet friend the truth that "man does not live on bread alone."
Then YHWSO was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tried by the devil. And after having fasted forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. And the trier came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of Elohim, command that these stones become bread." But He answering, said, "It has been written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of YHWH.' " Then the devil took Him up into the set-apart city, set Him on the edge of the Set-apart Place, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of Elohim, throw Yourself down. For it has been written, 'He shall command His messengers concerning you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, so that you do not dash your foot against a stone.' " YHWSO said to him, "It has also been written, 'You shall not try YHWH your Elohim.' " Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain, and showed Him all the reigns of the world, and their esteem, and said to Him, "All these I shall give You if You fall down and worship me." Then YHWSO said to him, "Go, Satan! For it has been written, 'You shall worship YHWH your Elohim, and Him alone you shall serve.' "
"No one is able to serve two masters, for either he shall hate the one and love the other, or else he shall cleave to the one and despise the other. You are not able to serve Elohim and mammon.