Founder of Home Depot, Ken Langone. thinks that Pope Francis has alienated wealthy donors to the church and other charities with his recent criticisms of capitalism.
Langone, who is a large contributor to a fund to restore St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York recently took his concerns to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York who he said told,
“Your Eminence, this is one more hurdle I hope we don’t have to deal with. You want to be careful about generalities. Rich people in one country don’t act the same as rich people in another country.”
He is apparently referring to the Pope’s recently released, Evangelii Gaudium, which is the first major written statement of his papacy, and in which he said:
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.
Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor…”
Langone told CNBC that he was informed by one potential seven-figure donor that he is concerned that the church under this Pope is criticizing free market economies and urging the rich to give more to the poor. He thinks that this causes people to see the wealthy as being cold and “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”
Cardinal Dolan says that he believes that Langone and his friend are misunderstanding the Pope’s words, saying, “The Pope loves poor people. He also loves rich people.” He added that he was sure that after the hesitant donor understood what it really is that the Pope is trying to convey, “then I think he’s gonna say, ‘Oh, OK. If that’s the case, count me in for St. Patrick’s Cathedral.’”
What Langone and his rich buddies seem not to understand is that it is not charity when you are using it to blackmail the Pope. It is merely proof that one of the main reasons they give to charity at all is because it is good for their public image and has nothing to do with their compassion since one must have a heart in order to feel compassion in the first place.
Watch Cardinal Dolan’s response to their
threats concerns in the video below.