Pope Francis’ GOLD Pallium Pins Strain The Credibility Of The Pope’s Supposed Commitment Towards Helping The Poor.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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Pope Francis in Brazil, for 'World Youth Day', July 25, 2013, where his theme was the dangers of money and the need to help the poor. Click image to ENLARGE. Click link below to access 'news.com.au' article which carried this picture.

Pope Francis in Brazil, for ‘World Youth Day’, July 25, 2013, where his theme was the dangers of money and the need to help the poor. Click image to ENLARGE. Click link below to access ‘news.com.au’ article which carried this picture.

Click to access original article with picture.


I like this pope. I said that from day. Plus, unlike all the other ‘Johnny come latelies‘ I had him, in print, in my ‘Next Pope 2011‘ book, in 2010 as a papabili. So, don’t even think about trying to give me any grief about going after this pope.

I happened to see, yesterday, on TV, the Pope, in Brazil, talking about the evils of money, wearing a pallium. I immediately checked to see what kinds of pins he was wearing. They looked like gold but I wasn’t going to jump to conclusions. I wanted to be sure. So this morning I went checking for photographs. He is using gold pallium pins. They could actually be those that his extremely vain predecessor, the noted dandy, had designed with jewel heads.

I am nothing but consistent when it comes to this issue of pope’s dripping gold (like … (and you can substitute your favorite euphemism)).

This is from Christmas day 2011 — and look at the pins.

Click to access at my 'popes and papacy' blog.

Click to access at my ‘popes and papacy’ blog.


For those of you who are not familiar with palliums and the 5 pins, let me tell you about the irony of using gold pins — a fashion started by the vainglorious German pope.

The 5 pins are supposed to represent the five rusted nails used to crucify Jesus on the cross!

With all due respect and all humility that I can muster, there is nothing that this pope can tell me or teach me about charity. I know charity from both sides of the divide.

Wearing unnecessary gold ornaments and then getting on your high horse to talk about the evils of money does not impress me.

Yes, it is possible that this pope was waylaid with these pins, i.e., he was told, at the last minute, that that as all they had. But, I don’t buy that. If this pope was genuine he could have used 5 safety pins and pocketed the five gold pins. Then he should have called out, during Mass, for 5 people running charitable orphanages or dispensaries.  Yes, they have them in Brazil. He should have then given each one one of these. That would have been real class.

I have talked about this before. So far, this pope has been all words, little action. Words are cheap. Actions are more difficult. Here is a simple test. I will contend that I have given more to the poor, in terms of tangible physical goods, than this pope has! We are not talking words, gestures and kissing babies. We are talking chattels, shekels and dollars. Driving around in a Ford Focus is very nice, but did he sell the fleet of German luxury cars owned by the Vatican and give it to the poor? I have yet to hear of this pope, as pope, as an individual, giving anything tangible to the poor.

I have said that this pope, if he really means what he says, should have a yard sale in St. Peter’s Square. The biggest yard sale in the history of man. A real bonfire of the vanities. Some Catholics took exception, but they can’t articulate why? I will, if given a chance, discuss this with the pope directly.

OK. Some of you are going to get mad. But, I am noted for my straight talk even if it is to do with popes. This is a good pope. I like him. But, I do not think he is the smartest pope by a long chalk or one who is savvy. John Paul II (#265) was incredibly savvy. He was street smart. Don’t let anyone kid you. John XXIII (#262) was very, very smart. He knew exactly what he was doing. Benedict XVI (#266) was intellectual in an academic kind of way but was not street smart — and furthermore did not care about being street smart. He, like popes from yore, did not see a need to related to the plebs on Earth. This pope is very genuine. He is sincere but seems rather naive and simple. Not bad traits, but traits nonetheless.

So that is where we are. Yes, I would rather have this pope than the prior one. I just wish this pope would match his words, especially when it comes to looking after the poor, with actions.

Enough said.

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About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my https://nhlifefree.com/ blog.

4 responses to “Pope Francis’ GOLD Pallium Pins Strain The Credibility Of The Pope’s Supposed Commitment Towards Helping The Poor.”

  1. prospero says :

    To begin with I think that we should try not to be too unfair towards Francis of Rome…he inherited quite an enormous amount of various problems he now will have to deal with. And – we should not forget that he is also confronted to leading curialists who apparently did not vote or him in the Conclave and who are beyond the slightest doubts the spearhead of the opposition against him. An Italian vaticanista some weeks ago was told by a cardinal (whose name he did not want to make public) working at the Roman Curia: “If the majority of would have had already known in March that Bergoglio in fact is SUCH an odd man I think that under such conditions quite a number of my colleagues would have abstained of voting for him”. I do not have the slightest doubts that Pope Francis already very soon after his election became aware of the real dimension of the so called “crisis inside the Vatican” in all its various expressions and that he from the very beginning took the decision to counteract.
    From his former collaborators in Buenos Aires it however could be heard that “Padre Jorge” always disliked acting in a hasty manner – as for important questions he always took his time to deliberate, to gauge and then finally he made his decision public.Maybe you are right – at first glance Jorge Mario Bergoglio seems not to be a savvy or smart pope compared to some of his predecessors (however I think that such an assessment can only be quite subjective; besides, “being savvy” can also be seen in a not too positive way) BUT he has one quality which is of no little importance (especially as it concerns a religious leader´s crediblity) – he is a HONEST man.
    This honesty may be of great importance for his future activites, I am however convinced that it in this context it should come to a kind of solution concerning the eventual disposition of parts of the Vatican´s wealth. I also remember quite well that in your blog you once discussed the question concerning the future pope´s quality as a “people person” – voila, there he is…And it is also a fact that Archbishop Loris Capovilla, John XXIII´s secretary in an interview he gave in April oder May stated that there is quite a considerable number of personal characteristics who his “master” and Jorge Mario Bergoglio seem to have in common.
    And to conclude with some personal remarks – yes, I like this pope too…Bergoglio was one of two cardinals I declared my “personal favorites” about a week before the beginning of the Conclave (the other was Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga). Finally when the new pope´s name was made known to the world at the first moment I was astonished and shocked but also convinced that there will be a considerable number of changes. Obviously, these changes until the present day concern primarily the “outward apperarance” of the system. On the other hand I would not underesteem their symbolic meaning and I think also that Pope Francis is well aware of the fact that soon time wii be ready to begin with personal and structural reforms.

    • aguruge says :

      Welcome back — I think. Yes, definitely a people’s pope. But as some UK newspapers are pointing out recently he needs to be more than that. As ever interesting observations from you. Re. your opening remarks about cardinals having “buyer’s remorse” — and his oddness etc., remember I was the 1st to draw the parallel with John Paul I (#264) within 36 hours of the election. I still haven’t ruled out the possibility of this being another ‘year of the 3 popes’. Thanks. I wish him well. Definite improvement on his predecessor — PLUS as I point out, I had him as a papabili, in print. How many others of the so called experts can claim that? And I had him in 2011. Cheers, Anura

      • prospero says :

        Thank you for welcoming me back. As for your allusion to some similarities between Francis and John Paul I it can be said that at first sight there seem to be some congruences – especially I am thinking of the already well known (or should I better call it notorious ?) reaction revealed by both of them after their election: “May God forgive you what you have done to me”. There is also the modest (if not to say humble) attitude who both of them displayed from the very beginning of their pontificate…but on the other hand I think that exactly at this point the similarities come to an end.The however crucial difference between them (which most probably contributed essentially to John Paul I´s premature death) lays in the fact that he per his nature was a quite introvert person who during his whole ecclesiatical career never did get out of such circles. Thus being exclusively focused on pastoral work for decades he was completely overburdened by the multiforme duties and challenges of the papal functions.
        I do not think that Jorge Mario Bergoglio from the moment of his election felt oppressed in the same way – I am quite sure that he understood his aforementioned “dictum” in a more or less ironic way. Francis has (thanks to God !) quite a developed sense of humour and irony, according to testimonials of those who know him well he is also described as someone who has a sanguinic temper – another fact which links him somewhat closer to John XXIII than to any other predecessor, It can also be observed that Bergoglio never had any problems to define and – if necessary – to defend his own standpoints which quite often do not follow standardized concepts so that he was even characterized as an “open-minded conservative, a revolutionary with traditionalist worldviews”. On such a background I am not too much astonished that there are within the Roman Catholic hierarchy who try to marginalize him by calling him “odd”.
        It may be known for sure that for Pope Francis despite this kind of “opposition” there is no reason to suppose that he will break down because of such or similar difficulties. Even if he during the months following his election apparently has avoided to point out the absolutistic character of the papacy I could also imagine that in given moments he could take the decsion to get rid of those who within the Roman Curia want to impede any kind of reform.

      • aguruge says :

        I had never thought of JP I as introverted. Wasn’t he quite vocal on many front. Of late I am curious about what real managerial and executive experience this pope has had. He sure does not seem to have found where the tiller is on the barque of St. Peter — he seems to be groping all over the place. He hasn’t even worked out how to replace his head of household. Time moves on inexorably. By this juncture John XXIII had worked miracles.

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