Pope Francis wants Church to be poor, and for the poor
Geege Schuman stashed this in Catch 22
<Francis, speaking mostly off-the-cuff and smiling often, made his comments in an audience for journalists where he explained why he chose to take the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi, a symbol of peace, austerity and poverty.
He called Francis "the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man", and added: "Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor.">
Well, "the poor" are a growing market, so there's that.
Also, it's a good way to start rebuilding the church's image after an era of corruption.
What Would St. Francis Drive?
I love this new Pope already. He drives a Volkswagen.
Papal Paradox: When all its global properties - stretching from St. Peter's Basilica to Brazil to Old Bond Street - are added up, the Vatican's nest egg, experts say, amounts to trillions of dollars.
The Rev. Dan Vojir, a former radio show talk host who has been writing and blogging on religion and politics for the better part of a decade, says one can argue that the Vatican controls an economy even larger than that of the United States.
While that may be disputable, what's clear is that the true value of the Vatican's vast financial empire - and the opulence that goes with it - remains a tightly guarded secret.
The Vatican does not have the GDP of the U.S. but I can believe they have more accumulated wealth.
Such is the miracle of compound interest for an entity that has been saving for 2000 years.
Gold and real estate for 2000 years - imagine. GOOG and APPL for the last decade, I wonder. :-)
They also have a steady income, right? Donations or investments or art or something similar?
<Government Collected Millions for Vatican
In some countries, not only does the Church evade taxation, but the state itself collects taxation on her behalf. This absurdity has been one of the most extraordinary peculiarities of Germany, which "compels" German citizens to pay a "Kirchensteuer" (Church Tax).
It was first inspired by the Weimar Constitution of 1919, and confirmed by the pact between Hitler and the Vatican in their concordat of 1933. The Kirchensteuer was made constitutional in 1949, after the Second World War. The Catholic government - that is the Christian Democrats - not only enforced the church taxation upon an unwilling populace, it put the state machinery at the disposal of the church. Thus the Government collected the tax, enforced its payment, and then handed over the money thus collected to the Church.
Before the Second World War, the German citizens used to pay an average of two or three marks a year. By 1972, the figure rose to between fifty-five and sixty marks.
In Germany, therefore, the Vatican, besides enjoying outstanding financial benefits from its skilful penetration of the giant industrial concerns (as it did in Italy and in the United States), had its coffers replenished with additional millions from the Kirchensteuer, to the tune of some 350 million dollars a year. The scheme being the result of the political Catholicism which dominated the life of post-war Germany for so long.>
Oh, there's more, much more: http://www.cai.org/bible-studies/vatican-billions
VW, the driving choice of the last TWO Popes.
Comments on this link are fun.
Ha! VW seems like a sensible choice.
You might now know this about VW:
Volkswagen Group sells passenger cars under the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, Škoda and Volkswagen marques; motorcycles under the Ducati brand; and commercial vehicles under the MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles marques. It is divided into two primary divisions, the Automotive Division and the Financial Services Division, and consists of approximately 340 subsidiary companies. The company has operations in approximately 150 countries and operates 94 production facilities across 24 countries. It holds a 19.9% non-controlling shareholding in Suzuki and has two major joint-ventures in China - FAW-Volkswagen and Shanghai Volkswagen.
("Shanghai Volkswagen" needs an exclamation point to make it sound like an imperative, doesn't it?)
I didn't know that. VW is basically every German car brand I know except Mercedes and BMW.