Financial regulation is not just for Wall Street. New rules are now in place at the Vatican for canonization, the process by which the Roman Catholic Church determines who should be declared a saint. U.S presidential candidates have chimed in. More about their views in a minute.
U.S. News & World Report reported last week that Pope Francis imposed financial accountability regulations “on the Vatican’s multimillion-dollar saint-making machine.” The changes came after two books revealed abuses that were uncovered by a fact-finding commission Pope Francis established. The secretive canonization process brings in a significant amount of money, but with little to no oversight. The books estimate the cost of each beatification (the step that precedes canonization) at around $550,000, with much of the money going to the few people who have contracts to perform the required investigative work.
The likelihood of being canonized appears to have been linked to how generous a candidate’s followers are. Candidates with wealthy donors move much more quickly through the process then candidates with less wealthy fans.
New rules require the appointment of an administrator for each canonization project, along with exact record-keeping. In order to minimize the influence that comes with money, the administrator must “scrupulously inspect” the intention behind each donation.
Needless to say, Donald Trump weighed in during a visit to Chicago. “Of course, everybody knows the Vatican has a problem. In fact, it’s a huge problem! But what do I care? I don’t need the Vatican. I’ll fund my own canonization. And besides, Catholics love me. Really, they do.”
Trump went on, “Should I say it? What do you think? Do you want me to say it? I don’t know if I should. Okay, I’ll say it. The Vatican doesn’t know what it’s doing. Okay?! They don’t have smart people running that place.”
“Who’s surprised by this?” Sen., D-Vt., Bernie Sanders asked. “The Vatican has been controlled by big money for years. It’s got to stop. Canonization should be free. Every American who’s been a good person should have the right to be declared a saint, and it shouldn’t cost him anything. Jewish people too.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a Catholic, said he was hesitant about an easy canonization process. His statement came as a surprise. Sometime ago, he had backed an expedited path toward sainthood but recently changed his tune. Pundits attribute Rubio’s change of heart to his consultants who have been urging him to show a tougher stance so he can be more competitive against Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Cruz is the real heavy in this discussion—no amnesty for anybody in heaven who’s not a saint. “Look, people,” Cruz said to a crowd of 500 evangelists, “heaven is a special place. If you’re not a saint, you’ve got to go. No amnesty. No excuses. Leave, go through the process—no help from the Vatican cartel, mind you—and gain entrance the right way.”
Hillary Clinton’s view mirrors her position concerning Wall Street. “We have to regulate the process. It’s no different than Wall Street.” She was immediately criticized by Sanders. “Hillary has been cozying up to the Vatican for years. Now she’s for regulation. I want to see the transcripts for the speeches she made to the Nuncio apostólico.”
Gov. John Kasich got in the last word while campaigning in Toledo, Ohio. “I’m old school. My folks taught me to do the right thing. I don’t care what some people say. You can’t buy your way into heaven. C’mon, people, it’s just not going to happen. Sainthood should be possible for everybody, but we’ve got to work together.”
No one in heaven could be reached for comment. (Does the act of fabricating comments from politicians keep you out of heaven?)
Jack D’Aurora writes for considerthisbyjd.com
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