The pope has laid it out on the line - environmental irresponsibility is inevitable when people stop believing in god:
Experiencing the shared responsibility for creation (Cf. 51), the Church is not only committed to the promotion of the defense of the earth, of water and of air, given by the Creator to everyone, but above all is committed to protect man from the destruction of himself. In fact, "when 'human ecology' is respected in society, environmental ecology also benefits" (ibid). Is it not true that inconsiderate use of creation begins where God is marginalized or also where is existence is denied? If the human creature's relationship with the Creator weakens, matter is reduced to egoistic possession, man becomes the "final authority," and the objective of existence is reduced to a feverish race to possess the most possible.The funny thing is, anti-environmentalism as far as I've known has largely been a religiously motivated pursuit. Not to mention - the pope is complaining about 'egoistic possession'?
When looking up information about the wealth of the Vatican, there is a very popular quote which pops up over and over which seems to have originated from this article:
The myth of Vatican wealth. “At the Vatican, everything is for sale, in the popular mind,” Allen said. In reality, the Vatican’s annual operating budget is about $260 million. Allen contrasted that to Harvard University, which has an annual operating budget of $1.3 billion.Which is to say that the Vatican doesn't have a lot of money because the annual operating budget for Harvard is greater than the annual operating budget for the Vatican. OK, that's interesting, but that doesn't seem to address the actual question which is in regard to the wealth of the Vatican. The last sentence in the quote seems to be the most telling - A large percentage of the Vatican's wealth is found in non-liquid assets. And those don't count, according to Catholic apologists. Well of course you guys don't think that should count, if it did there is no way you could argue that the Catholic church is not worth a staggering amount of money!
“ (Harvard) could run five Vaticans every year and still have pocket change left over for an endowed chair,” Allen said, equating the Vatican’s patrimony - all the assets it could sell - to that of a medium-sized Catholic university. Its total patrimony is $770 million. The University of Notre Dame’s endowment is four and a half times greater, he said.
Allen noted that while people often assume a significant monetary value attached to the artwork the Vatican holds, it is not for sale.
Catholics like to say that the wealth of their church is a myth, but it's hard to swallow that story when it's so obviously not the case. A financial statement of the Holy See for fiscal year 2000 states:
For the eighth consecutive year, the operating statement for fiscal year 2000 for the Holy See closes with a net gain of 17.720 billion, equal to $8,516,000 US at the exchange rate at the end of the year of 2,080.89 lire per dollar. The total expenses were 404.378 billion and the total income was 422.098 billion. Compared with the previous fiscal year, the income was more substantial, having increased by 64 billion. As is easily imaginable, the increase in expenses is strictly related to the celebration of the Jubilee Year, which brought with it greater activity, and therefore a greater need for personnel, within the various offices of the Roman Curia and also of the media organs connected with the Holy See.As the article states, this is less of a gain than what is normally seen because in 2000 the church had a lot more expenditures with their celebrations of the new millennium. That's the church itself - greedy, for-profit, catholic church. The pope as an individual is no better. The pope is allowed the best medical coverage, the poshest of transportation choices, a spectacular living quarters (see right) and everything he may want free of charge. The pope's only argument in defense of his irresponsible comments regarding greed and atheists is that he himself has no concept of greed since he gets everything he wants without having to even consider a paycheck - all the pope has to do is ask and it is there.
I know it's easy to blame us baby eating atheists for all that's wrong with the world and I know it's tempting - we don't have many righteously indignant platforms to hide behind and so we are easy targets when it comes to flinging ridicule. However, Mr. Pope, it would be nice if next time your attack of us was a little less simplistically easy to refute and reject on the basis of bias and projection. Thanks Nazi buddy!