The coherence of Bergoglio on justice and money
A) The text of the speech by J.M.Bergoglio:
“«Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be reborn, but reborn by the Spirit: it is the Spirit who gives us a new identity, gives us strength, a new way of acting»….. This line, he pointed out, is seen «in the first reading, one of three or four summaries contained in the Acts of the Apostles» (4:32-37), a passage which recounts «how the first community lived, those who were ‘reborn’ by the Spirit»….. they «lived in harmony», but that it was “the harmony which only the Holy Spirit can give”. Indeed, «we can make agreements, a certain peace, but harmony is an interior grace which can only be made by the Holy Spirit». Thus, these first «communities lived in harmony». This can be understood from two distinct signs of harmony,……
Indeed, …., «the true harmony of the Holy Spirit has a very strong relationship to money: money is the enemy of harmony, money is selfish». And «this is why the sign he gives is that everyone gave what was theirs, so that no one would be in need»…… In particular, the Acts give «the example of Joseph, who was surnamed by the apostles Barnabas (which means, Son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, a field owner». Joseph sold his field «and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet». This, in a word, is the true «harmony» which then «is related to the spirit of poverty, the first of the Beatitudes».
On the contrary, however, there is «the case of the couple, Ananias and Sapphira. They sold their field and gave everything, they said they gave everything to the Apostles, but they secretly stole so as to make an account on the side, for themselves». This story is also narrated in the Acts of the Apostles (5:1-11)….. However, «the Lord punishes these two with death, because Jesus clearly said that one cannot serve both God and money: they are two masters whose service is irreconcilable».
However, ….., «harmony, which only the Holy Spirit can create, should not be confused with tranquillity». Because «a community can be quite tranquil and get along well» yet not be in harmony. Once, ….., «I heard a bishop say something wise: ‘There is tranquillity in the diocese. But if you touch upon this problem or this problem or that problem, a war breaks out immediately”».
However, this is «a negotiated harmony, and not that of the Holy Spirit: it is a hypocritical harmony, so to speak, like that of Ananias and Sapphira after what they had done». Instead, «the harmony of the Holy Spirit gives us the generosity of having nothing of our own, as long as there is someone in need»” (Homily, Casa Santa Marta, April 5, 2016)
B) References to Scriptures:
“No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money” (Mat 6:24)
“There was also a man called Ananias. He and his wife, Sapphira, agreed to sell a property; but with his wife’s connivance he kept back part of the price and brought the rest and presented it to the apostles. Peter said, ‘Ananias, how can Satan have so possessed you that you should lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land? While you still owned the land, wasn’t it yours to keep, and after you had sold it wasn’t the money yours to do with as you liked? What put this scheme into your mind? You have been lying not to men, but to God.’ When he heard this Ananias fell down dead. And a great fear came upon everyone present. The younger men got up, wrapped up the body, carried it out and buried it. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had taken place. Peter challenged her, ‘Tell me, was this the price you sold the land for?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that was the price.’ Peter then said, ‘Why did you and your husband agree to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Listen! At the door are the footsteps of those who have buried your husband; they will carry you out, too.’ Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in they found she was dead, and they carried her out and buried her by the side of her husband” (Act 5:1-10)
Bergoglio says: “The true harmony of the Holy Spirit has a very strong relationship with money: money is the enemy of harmony, money is selfish“. So Bergoglio, in the time of jubilee of his mercy, once again talks about how to behave in relationship with money.
Previously Bergoglio faced this matter and said: “If the jubilee does not reach the pockets, is not a true jubilee. Do you understand?“. Now Bergoglio touches this theme again and makes you realize that the true harmony (that, to make it clear, is given only by the Holy Spirit) is closely linked to the concept of generosity. And he cites Barnabas as a positive example, that had a field and, after having sold it, donates all the profits to the Apostles; and as a negative example he cites the spouses Ananias and Sapphira, that instead of donating all the profits of the sale to the Apostles, they keep a part for themselves and for this they are punished by God. Punished by death.
When Bergoglio speaks of the “jubilee that must reach the pockets”, he does not contradict himself and subtly but concretely makes understand that you have to give everything as Barnabas did; and not giving a part, keeping something for himself, as the couple Ananias and Sapphira did; because, in that case – and this is the real news – God is not merciful but He punishes!
But hasn’t Bergoglio always said that God is so merciful to forgive always and anyway, thus establishing for confessors a new teaching, that of the silent forgiveness? Didn’t Bergoglio state that even the mercy of God is independent from faith? Hasn’t Bergoglio spent a word on the parable of the “Prodigal Son” about true and false mercy? And the false relationship between mercy and justice in the family? Did he not say: “Do not worry, you have made a big mistake, yes, but do not worry“?
So, wait and see that “if the jubilee does not reach to the pockets” the god of Bergoglio gets angry and is not so merciful?