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Rich Catholic Republicans Threaten Pope Francis — Because He Frightens Them

Memo Pad Politics

Rich Catholic Republicans Threaten Pope Francis — Because He Frightens Them


If anyone wonders whether Pope Francis has irritated wealthy conservatives with his courage and idealism, the latest outburst from Kenneth Langone left little doubt. Sounding both aggressive and whiny, the billionaire investor warned that he and his overprivileged friends might withhold their millions from church and charity unless the pontiff stops preaching against the excesses and cruelty of unleashed capitalism.

According to Langone, such criticism from the Holy See could ultimately hurt the sensitive feelings of the rich so badly that they become “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.” He also said rich donors are already losing their enthusiasm for the restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan – a very specific threat that he mentioned directly to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

Langone is not only a leading fundraiser for church projects but a generous donor to hospitals, universities, and cancer charities (often for programs and buildings named after him, in the style of today’s self-promoting philanthropists). Among the super-rich, he has many friends and associates who may share his excitable temperament.

While his ultimatum seems senseless – would a person of true faith stiff the church and the poor? – it may well be sincere. And Langone spends freely to promote his political and economic views, in the company of the Koch brothers and other Republican plutocrats.

Still, a Pope brave enough to face down the Mafia over his financial reform of the murky Vatican Bank shouldn’t be much fazed by the likes of Langone.

Yet Langone has reason to worry that the Holy Father is in fact asking hard questions about people like him. Indeed, he could serve as a living symbol of the gross and growing economic inequality that disfigures the American system and threatens democracy.

As a leader of the New York Stock Exchange, he was largely responsible for the scandalous overpayment of his friend Richard Grasso, the exchange president who received nearly $190 million in deferred compensation when he stepped down. Although New York’s highest court eventually upheld Grasso’s pay package, it was a perfect example of the unaccountable, self-serving greed of Wall Street’s elite.

Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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  1. Annemb January 3, 2014

    Hmm. Wonder if their problem is that they CAN’T buy the pope as they can buy politicians, etc? It’s time that someone speaks truth to power and who better and courageous than Pope Francis! He’s speaking about a Christianity that they are unfamiliar with.

    1. Mark Forsyth January 3, 2014

      I’m sure that Pope Francis would put it more delicately than I would but that Langone son of a bitch can eat shit and bark at the moon.

      1. Annemb January 3, 2014

        Well said, Mark. I couldn’t have put it better myself!

        Reminds me of the story of the rich young ruler who asked Jesus what he must do to enter the kingdom of Heaven, listing what he already does. Jesus tells him to sell what he has, give the money to the poor and follow him. The young man walks away disappointed. Jesus says it is difficult for the rich to enter heaven. Now of course this requires exegetical explanation… but we can get the gist of it as it is!

        Great post!

        1. Independent1 January 4, 2014

          Jesus said it was much more than ‘difficult’, he actually said it was ‘impossible’. When’s the last time you saw a camel jump through the eye of a needle?? That’s an impossibility; which Jesus was applying to that young rich man you described who had decided that keeping his riches were more important than helping those in need.

          But I think when Jesus was talking about the rich, he was talking about those such as that rich man who have allowed the love of money to drive them into striving to fill their lives with as many worldly things as they can (remember, God said you cannot serve God and Mammon (money)).

          I’m sure there are people who are wealthy who have not allowed the money to corrupt them, but of course, in today’s world of enormous excess, that’s becoming harder and harder to do. Although, there have been stories recently in the news of people who have died after living simple lives while accumulating millions of dollars in savings; I’m sure Jesus was not saying people such as these would have difficulty getting into heaven because they were rich; God would judge them on how they lived their lives according to how closely they followed what Jesus preached while he was on earth and which are recorded in Matthew 5-7 and in his many parables.

          (Remember too, that Paul made it clear in Hebrews 8-10, that Jesus’ teachings have superceded the “law” (the 10 commandments); Jesus brought a New Covenant (Testament) and the Old Testament has faded away. Living by the 10 Commandments will get no one to Heaven.)

          1. Annemb January 4, 2014

            Thanks for your post.

            I understand what you’re saying. We studied this in seminary. I just wouldn’t go into detail. This requires study and research for an exegesis. That’s why I wrote, “…Now of course this requires exegetical explanation… but we can get the gist of it as it is!…”

            BTW, there were over two hundred laws which the Jews were required to obey. The Covenant between God and the Jews has not ended but is alive and well.

            Jesus, the radical Jew, gave one only commandment — LOVE. And remember, “being saved” will not get a person into heaven. True salvation is transformation of one’s life.

          2. Mark Forsyth January 4, 2014

            That requires a lifelong dedication to the hardest work of all,that of good orderly thinking on a consistant basis. Many people avoid it all their lives which is the only reason that propaganda ever succeeds.

          3. Annemb January 4, 2014

            Mark, you are so correct in your assessment that many people do, in fact, avoid “…good orderly thinking on a consistant basis…” It is the open door by which “propaganda ever succeeds.”

            Thanks for your post.

          4. Independent1 January 4, 2014

            I agree with everything in your post except your comment about God’s covenant with the Jews is still alive and well. The whole purpose of the letter to the Hebrews was to tell them that the old covenant is not longer viable; Hebrews makes it clear that the only way a Jew will get into Heaven is by accepting Jesus and believing in him just as we gentiles have been asked to do. As the writer of Hebrews concludes in the last verse of Hebrews 8: vs 13:
            ” ‘By calling this covenant new’ he has made the first obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.’

            That was said 2000 years ago. In any practical sense, the Old Testament is long gone and should only be referenced for the intent of drawing examples from those who lived faithful lives. Christians need to stop looking back into the Old Testament for the directives on how they should live their lives – many of the directives in the Old Testament are no longer supportable. The directives we need look to to achieve salvation are those brought to us by Jesus and recorded for us in the four Gospels.

            Unfortunately, too many people who consider themselves Christians don’t understand the absolute imperative in your last sentence or are not willing for the transformation that is needed.

          5. Annemb January 4, 2014

            I agree that Christians should not be looking at the Hebrew Scriptures – yet some do and use them to condemn and to judge.

            I have learned Hebrew Scriptures from a Rabbi before attending seminary. The old covenant is not obsolete — God would not break God’s covenant with the Jews. God is faithful.

            Yes, Jesus fulfilled the Law … with love – which is the spirit not the letter of the Law.

            The Letter to the Hebrews is one of the letters not written by Paul but by someone else who attributed it to Paul. This was commonly done, as in Isaiah for example.

            Jesus spoke about the Kingdom (reign) of God being within….look at his life to see what this reign is all about.

            Thanks for your post.

          6. Annemb January 4, 2014

            I’ve been thinking today about your post and of my response. I need to say that you are a smart man and very respectful; I very much appreciate that. Christianity is counter-cultural. Jesus was executed because among other things, he spoke out against the status quo, much like M.L.King Jr., Gandhi, Kennedy and all others who were assassinated.

            Thanks again for your post. I wish you the best.

            Blessings in the new year for you and your family.

          7. rkief January 6, 2014

            Yes indeed, Jesus was a whistle-blower who had the courage to speak against wrong actions and the charisma to get people to believe him. Those persons have never been appreciated by the rich and powerful – who, as you say – will do anything to preserve the status quo.

          8. Daniel Jones January 4, 2014

            You’re right about the impossibility, but before King James standardised the message, the parable referred to a “camel’s-hair”, as in a rope.. still impossible, of course!

          9. Independent1 January 4, 2014

            Thanks! I wasn’t aware of that.

          10. Paul Bass January 6, 2014

            The “eye of the needle” was a very narrow passageway in first century Jerusalem, a passageway for pedestrians. Therefore a camel would have a very hard time passing through this alleyway.
            But the alley was large enough that a “small” camel might pass through it with difficulty. (sorta like rich folks entering heaven with difficulty, i.e. the point of the tale.)

          11. fpleti2 January 13, 2014

            Perhaps we need to think a little differently.

            Camel DNA is more than capable of passing through the eye of any needle. More to the point we currently can not make a needle’s eye small enough to prevent DNA from passing through. I suspect Jesus was saying look at your wealth from an introspective minimalist viewpoint such that it does not encumber your total vision.

            Wealth, if not properly contained, can enure one to the realities of life and thus became a means to an end very similar to what Mr. Langone espouses. The privileged might be better served by their wealth if they focused it on improving their lives and the lives of all those they touch.

            From this perspective wealth becomes an augmentation to life and not an obstacle and can easily accompany its benefactor through the “eye of life” where meaning resides.

          12. Independent1 January 13, 2014

            The majority of people in the world use all kinds of “man’s” logic to figure out how whatever they want to do let’s them pretend to be religious when what they really want is to be worldly. Jesus wasn’t talking about DNA, he was talking about the reality of the fact that God did not put us on the world to fill our lives with wordly things, and that includes money. That’s why he said, you cannot serve God and mammon (money).

            His brother James put being rich another way in his letter. He said these words:

            “The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like the wild flower.”

            In the perspective of God’s kingdom those who are in humble circumstances are the ones who are in the “high position” with respect to Heaven (not that being in humble circumstances will necessarily get them to Heaven, but their wealth and worldly possessions won’t be a hinderance), whereas those who are experiencing too much worldly things and are “rich”, and it doesn’t have to be lots of money but just lots of worldly things, are in a low position with respect to Heaven and quite candidly, won’t get there.

            So yes, if you’re not looking to get into Heaven at the end of this life, then maybe your last paragraph will apply – but not if you’re a ‘true’ Christian.

  2. Dominick Vila January 3, 2014

    I can just imagine how dreadful it must be for a ultra conservative Republicans to hear a Pope talk about compassion, tolerance, true Christian values, and the need to respect the opinion of others. It may not be long before they call for Francis’ removal from the Vatican and excommunication.

    1. disqus_fsqeoY3FsG January 3, 2014

      It is amusing to watch Cardinal Dolan defend the Pope’s comments considering he is a supporter of Paul Ryan and the Republican party.

      1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh January 3, 2014

        I look forward to the day when Dolan is “invited” to the Vatican, and the Pope announces his replacement as soon as the doors shut on the Papal Jet.

        1. angelsinca January 3, 2014

          Retribution is not a papal trait. Even if he was an American republican.

      2. Mark Forsyth January 3, 2014

        It would seem to be a delicate balancing act wouldn’t it.Of course maybe Dolan has an undisclosed benefactor with deep pockets.

    2. latebloomingrandma January 3, 2014

      I do hope someone is watching Pope Francis’s back.

      1. Buford2k11 January 3, 2014

        It is not beyond reason to think, Dolan is painting a bullseye on Pope Frank’s back…

    3. Allan Richardson January 3, 2014

      Some of them probably think they can IMPEACH the Pope. Or at least raise stupid nit-picking questions about whether his ordination was “valid,” or even his “baptism.” After all, an Argentinian Pope is just as “alien” to conservatives as a half-black President.

    4. angelsinca January 3, 2014

      Not dreadful at all, Dominic. Actually, it’s refreshing to hear the talk, period, regardless of the source. You may need to recalibrate those republican stereotypes.

      1. Independent1 January 4, 2014

        Recalibrate the everyday example that the Republican Congress demonstrates to the world how MONEY is more important than anything else??? How is that?? Give me one example! Just one! When a Congress led by the Republicans has passed a piece of legislation that was not set up to channel money to some corporation or entity.

        The GOP couldn’t even pass the one piece of legislation that may qualify for what I just asked, adding the prescription drug benefit to Medicare without insisting that the only way they would agree to it was if the government couldn’t negotiate down the price of drugs bought seniors; meaning that the GOP was more concerned about maximizing Big Pharma profits than helping seniors who are struggling to make ends meet from one day to the next.

        And you have the ignorance to say, recalibrate Republican stereotypes!! Sorry clueless – but you better get to Republicans and tell THEM TO RECALIBRATE THEIR STEROTYPES. Because YOU ARE WHAT YOU PERMIT!!! And Republican voters time and time again keep intentionally voting in corrupt legislators who believe MONEY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS WORLD!!!!!!

        1. angelsinca January 4, 2014

          Thanks, but I was questioning Mr Vila’s stereotype of the ultra conservative Republican that ‘dread(s)… to hear a Pope talk about compassion, tolerance, true Christian values, and the need to respect the opinion of others’.

          Understanding how the term ‘republican’ is commonly used with this audience, I must assume Dominic’s jab is directed at all republicans, since all are considered ultra-conservative here.

          With this understood, and since I consider myself republican and realizing Dominic usually employs accurate descriptors of his well-chosen subjects, I simply exercised my duty to inform Mr Vila that his assessment of me and most other republicans is not accurate.

          I naively expected the observation would be appreciated. Instead, it was used to springboard into another anti-republican tirade,. By association, you even ridiculed me as ignorant and clueless for questioning the negative stereotypes.

          I can understand why you expect republicans to appease you, but i don’t understand how you expect them to cooperate with you when you don’t exercise those values listed by Dominic that you expect to receive from them. Thanks.

          1. Independent1 January 4, 2014

            You obviously missed my point. You apparently don’t think you fit the description Dominic expressed of Republicans but you do; you are just deluding yourself. Because just by association, just by voting for the dispicable set of inhuman legislators that call themselves Republicans, just by admitting that you’re a “Republican”, you are exactly like what Dominic tried describe; LIKE IT OR NOT!!! You are exactly his described Republican stereotype; he does not have to recalibarate ANYTHING!!!

          2. angelsinca January 4, 2014

            You obviously missed my point

            I understand your point, but disagree Dominic shares the same defense of bigotry and intolerance.

          3. Independent1 January 4, 2014

            How so?? Dominic did nothing more than tell the truth. Was Jesus bigoted when he told the Pharisees to their face that they were “Whited Walls”! Absolute hypocrites!! Bigotry does not come from telling the truth. Bigotry comes from saying one thing and then doing just the opposite or something that contradicts what you said. If the truth fits, which it does for everyone who calls themselves a dreaded Republican, then Republicans need be willing to wear that description or change their political affiliation!!

          4. angelsinca January 4, 2014

            Because Dominic’s posts do not usually support the narrow minded ugliness of bigotry. How are we ever going to eradicate racism if we can’t even control our own bigotries?

            Bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance

          5. Fred Roman January 8, 2014

            that equals republican,Specially when it Comes to the President of the USA

    5. Independent1 January 4, 2014

      It’s not surprising that these ultra rich are no different than the Pharisees of Jesus time who simply refused to believe the truth, because their lives are so caught up with sin (the love of money), that it’s virtually impossible for them to let it go.

  3. disqus_9i6pUJ4xMT January 3, 2014

    He is just a bully and just want his money not for his employees.The Pope is right 100%. That he and other millionaries/ Republicans/tea party does not want to help the poor or families that needs help. No wonder they can not win election. They are all for them and no one else. Oh Langone donate to charity, religious charities but no one else. He is not a true Christian. All he want is MONEY, MONEY, MONEY.

    1. Dee January 3, 2014

      Yes money but above all he wants the world to think he is a generous man but no matter how much money he gives if he doesn’t give it from his heart its worthless to the Lord:.

    2. RobertCHastings January 4, 2014

      disqus, I think we need to put things into perspective. To claim “they” are not winning elections when the House is controlled by them is somewhat disingenuous, don’t you think. When more than half the governorships, and the majority of state legislatures are controlled by the Republican Party and the conservative movement is a simple, FACTUAL, contradiction of the basis for your argument. Please bear in mind, ALL the wealthy ARE NOT Republican (Kennedys, George Soros, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, etc.), and NOT ALL the wealthy are so enamored of their wealth that they cannot see the harm the greed of others is doing. While conservatives do not have a lock on greed, I think they do have a lock in pursuing social and political policies that are harmful to the poor and the middle class and, consequently, for the nation as a whole.

      1. Bill Thompson January 4, 2014

        GOP’s control of the house has everything to do with gerrymandering. This is how the tea party wackos got into congress. While America for the most part is center to right the GOP has been very effective in using hot button issues to make themselves look like leaders. Anti-gay rhetoric antiunion rhetoric antiabortion rhetoric anti-woman rights has been very effective in the GOP playing the religious like fiddles. The inexplicable part for me is why so many people will look at hot button issues as the only thing that really counts and vote against it own self interest when it comes to money and security in a long run. The men and women living in red states some of the poorest amongst us consistently vote for the GOP and against their own self interest. At this point we need a massive voter drive in this country to get the poor the under represented people have a voice, this is not happened to this point. The GOP’s new restrictive voting guidelines will play to their advantage in 2014 unless the Democrats start doing their due diligence.

        1. RobertCHastings January 4, 2014

          To get a massive voter drive going, there has to be some change in our system of voting. Most countries whose citizens actually elect their governments and representatives are allowed adequate time off from work to perform this civic responsibility. We, on the other hand, have NO national voting day in which EVERYTHING is shutdown. In order for the will of the people to be adequately judged, it is imperative that ALL people vote, and that there should be no impediments to this. It must be assured that one person’s vote is worth exactly that -one person’s vote- and that corporations and the wealthy do not receive the benefit of a multiplier effect through the enormous infusion of money to put out their propaganda. To avoid the influx of propaganda around election cycles, money must be taken out of the equation. BOTH parties in Congress reward those who can drum up the most financial support for their party with plum positions on important committees.
          AG Eric Holder, immediately upon the repeal of the “pre-approval” clause of the Voting Rights Act, began suing and prosecuting various entities for violating the other provisions of the Act. We must support him in these endeavors, by reporting all such instances in our own voting districts. The activities that MUST be ended by the right are voter intimidation, restrictions of any kind on obtaining valid ID, indiscriminate and unauthorized purging of registration lists, and local and state ordinances that are actually prohibiting voter registration drives (just as in the 60s and 50s and prior). Of course, this brief list only scratches the surface.
          The biggest, by far, step we can take to making our system of voting fairer and more equitable is the removal of money from the equation.

          1. disqus_9i6pUJ4xMT January 5, 2014

            The Republicans/tea party is trying to rigg the election to their favor, they have already gerrymandering their way to congress. Republicans states are making it hard for citizen to vote because their voting restriction, to vote you must submitted a birth certificate, not a valid ID like a driver license, or a state ID’s. Even college students who is studying in different states, what is good for their state, not good enough for that state. And in some states you cannot vote asbeties, only if you are in the military in a foreign county other wise everyone else will have to go to the polls to vote. That is what the Republicans/tea party is doing, restricting citizen right to vote. The reason why they lost the last election for the WH is because they did not embrace the African Americans, the Latinos, the women, the poor and other nationalities.

          2. RobertCHastings January 5, 2014

            Absentee balloting is becoming more restricted than it has been, and, as you say, about the only ones who are allowed this privilege without much hassle are the military overseas. There is a legitimate reason (in the eyes of Republicans) for this. The military has ALWAYS been supported by conservatives and officers have told their enlisted men that if they want to keep their jobs they will vote Republican. A ready-made voter bloc. Just in the past couple of years students are being denied the right to vote where the are attending school. And this, of course, is for a valid (in the eyes of Republicans) reason – college students have historically voted heavily Democrat. If you will notice, all the demographics that are having their vote suppressed are groups that have, historically, voted more in favor of Democratic candidates than for Republicans. So it just makes good sense to suppress that demographic of voters.

          3. disqus_9i6pUJ4xMT January 6, 2014

            I agree with you Robert, and no one see it. I do as does you what the Republicans/tea party are doing. Also the Republicans are afraid of the Pope Francis, he is touching on their nerves and cannot stand it. Pope Francis knows more about how our politics are run than any Congressman/women and the President. He knows special interest group, Koch Brother and others are running the Congress the way they want it to be run. Republicans/tea party does not want to know the truth, and they do not want other nation to know what they are doing.

          4. RobertCHastings January 6, 2014

            Yes, the Pope is, perhaps unwittingly, revealing the seedy underside of American politics. By drawing attention to what appears to be the chief motivating factor of worldwide conservatism (greed and the desire for absolute power), he is appealing mostly to those who are most affected by the policies of the right, the poor and the middle class. By exposing greed and corruption in supposedly solid democracies, he is ruffling a lot of feathers. However, lest we forget, when Paul Ryan came out with his budget proposals three or four years ago, a group of Catholic bishops castigated Ryan and said his proposal was not in keeping with the teachings of the Church or the life of Jesus. So, while for many reasons, the Catholic Church may be seen as a bastion of conservatism, THIS Pope is preaching the True word of Jesus. He is also proceeding with an agenda to clean up the Church’s image by ousting the “bishop of bling”, although, like the Pope before him, he has yet to do anything about the pedophile scandal. He has come out publicly stating that he is not in a position to judge those who are gay; but just last week he may have tripped over his tongue on this issue. And he has NOT restricted his preachings against greed just to the US, for it is apparent just about everywhere else, as well. I am sure that if he proceeds as he is, he will at least be nominated for a Nobel Prize and, if he is genuinely able to effect change, it will be well-deserved.

  4. FT66 January 3, 2014

    I am not trying to offend anyone but those who are called conservatives (the rich) all over the world, whether it is in politics or in religion, they use their money to speak, while the poor (some call them Liberals), use their mouths god gave them to speak out. It is really astonishing the rich (conservatives) are minority and the poor (liberals) are the majority. Here is my question: Should we let the money to speak (conservatives ) OR should we let the poor speak with their mouths and stop worshipping to money?

    1. angelsinca January 3, 2014

      Thank you for finally making the distinction between ‘conservative’ and ‘rich’. That would be like saying apples are red, therefore it’s Tuesday.

      1. FT66 January 3, 2014

        You are welcome. And Sunday is longer than Monday!

  5. Eleanore Whitaker January 3, 2014

    Awww…How adorable! Langone is about to be outed for his greed. Gee..must be a really bitter pill to swallow having to face the greed and corruption these Big Bois have gotten all to accustomed to calling “Business.”

  6. RobertCHastings January 3, 2014

    I am not Catholic, nor am I a denominational Christian. However, I have a strong faith in the redemptive power of Jesus, WITHOUT Mother church. With the current huge gatherings encouraged by the outpouring of love and simple Faith of this Pope, I feel that those who in the past have abandoned or reduced their involvement with the Catholic Church and are being drawn back into its loving embrace will more than make up for whatever MAY be lost from Mr. Langone and his “friends”. The great cathedrals of Europe were built, not by the wealthy, but by the poor and by the artisans of the era, out of a sincere love of the Church and the honest belief such activities would lead them into Heaven. Mr. Langone misses the point, entirely.

    1. Dee January 3, 2014

      I wish I didn’t have to even say this but its that very fact indeed that threatens those on the right!They don’t want to see faith being brought back to the for front once again, not after working so very hard to ruin the word of God, this is a huge job they have done and now with this great man Pope its threatening everything~ One thing is for sure if ever people needed Faith its today…I am very pleased by this Pope and I pray that he is always kept safe~….

      1. RobertCHastings January 4, 2014

        Since the Founding of this country, the PUBLIC religion of our leaders (ALL of them) has been evident. ALL of our presidents, from Washington to Obama, have declared their faith in a Living God, one who benevolently guides our actions and our future. ALL presidents have also seen the need to maintain a “wall of separation between government and religion” lest we devolve into a theocracy as is found in Iran, in which but ONE religion is accepted and all others are denied. Some in this country may feel their view of religion is infallible; thank God the Founders thought otherwise and included that thought into the Bill of Rights.

  7. Budjob January 3, 2014

    Pope Francis has more empathy and common sense than every Republican politician and the assholes that subscribe to their idiotology!!!

  8. howa4x January 3, 2014

    Langone represents what religion as practiced in America really means. The American brand of religion is in a for sale mode and supports the self aggrandizement of the wealthy. The Protestant ethic which business in this country was founded upon fosters the belief that the more you make the higher in heaven you will be. This belief system had allowed the rise of early capitalists like Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Carnige, Ford and a host of others to create the first large income gap. These power hungry capitalists forced workers to live completely at the bottom of society and fought hard, even using the government to stop the spread of unions. This is not much different from today where the uber wealthy like the Koch’s are once again union busting using friendly state governments to block unionization of workers. The philosophy that the rich are truly blessed allows people like the Waltons to accumulate vast sums of money and keep workers struggling on below a living wage.
    Past Popes were in a get along go along mode with wealth creation as long as they got theirs and the money kept flowing in. They were more wrapped up with the ongoing sex scandals that almost bankrupted the American Catholic church, and got in bed with the Mafia who funneled billions in a money laundering scheme through the Vatican bank. With this high fiancé the Popes had little time for the poor and left that to regional bishops to deal with
    Pope Francis is rocking the boat much like Jesus did thousands of years ago by making the ultra rich feel ashamed for their greed, and aware spiritually that it has a price. No longer is just giving to the church a promise of salvation now you have to be more of the Christian that the religion wanted you to be in its beginning. Now it’s making the poor the cross of the wealthy to bare, not just the Church’s.
    This is why greedy and self absorbed Catholics who really follow Ayn Rand are so upset. The pope is calling them out about the life they lead and how much harm they do instead of accepting the money and selling indulgencies. Maybe other religions will follow suite and begin to make those with more than they will ever need fell ashamed of the life they lead and take more of an interest in the welfare of those with out
    We can only hope.

  9. jointerjohn January 3, 2014

    Pope Francis better have someone tasting his food for him. Inspiring that such a noble and seemingly well-intended man could rise to the top of such a corrupt, misogynistic, and wicked organization. Gives me hope for mankind.

  10. pablopcasso January 3, 2014

    Ah, yes…threaten to withhold donations and charitable contributions because the Pope is not toeing the money line. Very Christian of him.

    1. jackster12 January 10, 2014

      What, you don’t remember that great New Testament account, where Jesus told the cripple that he wouldn’t cure his legs until the guy promised to buy Jesus a drink?

  11. Guest January 3, 2014

    Its hard to believe that Americia was once such a Christian Country now its not even polite to say

    1. Allan Richardson January 3, 2014

      The United States is not a Christian nation, anymore than modern Turkey is a Muslim nation. The US is a secular nation populated mainly by various kinds of Christians, and Turkey is a secular nation populated mainly by Muslims.

      Now if, by “Christian,” you mean “of good, decent character,” we get a mixed, but generally improving (up till the 1980s) report card here in America. But we have always had people using misstatements of religion, and of science, to reinforce the stereotypes they have about others (or the stereotypes they want to PROMOTE for personal gain).

      Slaveholders used the after-the-flood story of Noah and his three sons, and how he cursed Ham, who was believed to be the ancestor of dark-skinned African people (although the text refers to Canaan, and the Canaanites were Semites like the Hebrews), to justify enslaving people of African descent. And when Darwin came along, they added the argument about “missing links” and “ape men.” In other words, if you were a Biblical fundamentalist, they used Ham as an excuse, and if you believed in science, then Africans were closer to apes than white people and thus more “primitive.”

    2. usorthem3 January 17, 2016

      According to the Constitution and the 1st Amendment the USA is not now, nor has it ever been a christian nation unless you mean the christians that stole the Indians land, murdered the parents and kidnapped the children to force their religion on them.

  12. browninghipower January 3, 2014

    This piece of shit who runs Home Depot has a nice place waiting for him in the Hell he surely believes in. Fuck him. But I always have to wonder at a god that allows a person like him to have such earthly rewards and power over others. Makes no sense to me. Fuck him. I would love to see his demise, but that’s not my call.

    1. jackster12 January 10, 2014

      Not that I’m a fan of this guy, but that position you’re taking isn’t very Christ-like, bhp. What happened to “turn the other cheek?”

      1. usorthem3 January 17, 2016

        Christ’s daddy said kill all non believers, 2nd chronicles 15 13 Infallible word of “god and his rules of the bible.

  13. Dee January 3, 2014

    I pray the Pope doesn’t end up like all the other great men before him who preached the truth men like JFK, and Martin Luther King.Its what they do when they are frightened that just maybe some good will come out of these great men and women our Country will be better for it. its people like Langone who have stopped the US from becoming a better place for all people Imagine what the US would be like today if JFK and Martin Luther King were still amongst us? Think about it any man or women who have tried to change the direction of the US were killed and no one was ever punished except of course those they picked to be.the guilty….

    1. jackster12 January 10, 2014

      I hope the same and with that in mind, read this…


  14. skywryter January 3, 2014

    So Francis, next time you think to criticize the rich, think of all the poor kids and cancer patients they might kill as payback.

    1. Justin Napolitano January 3, 2014

      Hell the rich think it is sport to deny the poor and middle class. Killing some cancer patients is right up their line. Langone will die one day and some people might be inclined to pis& on his grave.

      1. Allan Richardson January 3, 2014

        If they feel like standing in line.

  15. Karma_HitMan January 3, 2014

    Langone should remember, if this country falls due to people like him, he will be skinned gutted and beheaded. I will help where I can. I have gutted many a fish.

    1. usorthem3 January 17, 2016

      Christians advocating violence? Typical of the religion who needs to murder those who don’t believe as they do as their “god” commands. 2nd chronicles 15 13 Just like ISIS.

  16. robertbenefiel@att.net January 3, 2014

    Why would anyone be surprised by the rich people reactions to the Pope Francis? I thought that people turned away when Christ said to them to give away their money to the poor and to come follow him. One thing is clear that people are greedy and want more than they could ever consume themselves. Very few people have ever really followed the teachings of Christ, one of which appears to be Pope Francis. I read that in some “primitive” cultures it is viewed as a form of mental illness to accumulate more than you can use. I believe that the ultra rich as being mentally ill and should be pitied as being soulless and devoid of any value as human beings.

  17. Justin Napolitano January 3, 2014

    Ken langone is the definition of a self serving pric*. I have listened to him several time on CNBC and every thing that comes out of his mouth is against the middle and lower class. He and Romney could hold hands and together worship at the altar of greed. The pope couldn’t be more right and the scares the shi% out of Langone. When he dies, and he will one day, he can take his billions have them shoved up his AS^ and take them to his grave.

  18. Roger Stone January 3, 2014

    The Pope is a red. deBlasio owns $2M in NYC Real Estate- let’s “redistribute” that.

    1. toncuz January 4, 2014

      Deblasio earned his money…that’s what progressives do. They don’t sell fake Credit Swaps all over the world…and they don’t steal labor like the right-wing central planners have been doing the past 30 years as average wages have gone up 1% while their incomes rose 500%. That’s grand larceny by any definition.

      Right-wing conservative economic theory is America’s greatest failure. Only an immense fool still believes in trickle-down nonsense. The grand stupidity of anyone that votes conservative is not knowing that Mussolini would be damn proud of Ronald Reagan for bamboozling an entire generation of fools into what they BOTH gave their country…corporate fascism.

  19. toncuz January 3, 2014

    Does it get any more simpler than this…”Will a rich man go to heaven?”
    …Jesus, “can a camel fit through the eye of a needle?”

    1. Independent1 January 4, 2014

      Yes, but keep in mind that Jesus was talking about people who have money and let the love of money drive them to filling their lives with worldlly things and also putting accumulating money above being willing to help others. There are rich people, although they are few, who have lots of money but live simple lives and use their money to benefit others. It will not be these people’s money that keeps them out of Heaven, if they are not allowed into Heaven it will be because they were not faithful in other ways.

      1. toncuz January 4, 2014

        Is that the example Jesus set for others? Did Jesus spend his time getting rich so he could do “good works”…no, his example was to follow a spiritual path and have FAITH in God to do good works, JUDGE and take revenge. Being a REAL Christian is no easy task…why it’s dying out.

        1. jackster12 January 10, 2014

          I see your post below about deBlasio and agree with a good bit of it, at least in the sense that it must be acknowledged that a lot of the wealth these billionaires have is gained on questionably moral terms.

          I also agree with some of what you say about good works as a greater path. And there’s no quibbling with the Bible quote… without quibbling with the Bible as a whole.

          I do just want to say, though, as a lapsed Catholic myself but with considerable schooling in what the message is supposed to be (16 years total in Catholic schools)… I’m as awed as most at this new Pope. He’s both a good man and good messenger, as far as I can tell. And, like many, I feel the magnetism he has brought back to the Church. A stunning accomplishment, given today’s cynicism, ambivalence, and — for the Church of late — crumbling authority and tragic track record.

          There’s no way, of course, to get those billionaires to see the same light. One only has to let them have the opportunity and see if they’ll come around. But while we’re waiting, I’d prefer not to slam any doors by telling them they’re probably not welcome.

          Not sure if what I want to say there is clear. Just that, all truths acknowledged, I think it serves all better if we can say to the rich… you CAN be rich, but not at the expense of others. And it doesn’t mean, being rich, that you can’t also be decent and compassionate, as the Pope has been urging us to be.

          Or is that wrong… is it truly impossible to be good and wealthy at the same time? I can see why one might be feel that way. At the same time, a guy like Bill Gates has been doing a lot of good around the world. I don’t know what his believe system is, if any, but his actions with the Gates Foundation seem especially Christlike… don’t you think?

    2. usorthem3 January 17, 2016

      But I’m sure Pat Robertson, Joel Olsteen, Robert Jeffress, Franklin Graham, Richard Roberts and every other mega millions pastor has already paid their way into heaven with all the cash they steal from the sycophant morons who give them $$$ for their “god”.

  20. Ann-Marie Poli January 4, 2014

    Mr. Langone professes to be a Catholic which makes his comments all the more arrogant. Others may criticize our faith, our Pope, as they wish, but as a member, Langone should know his place in the organization and stop trying to run the church. If he can’t accept the Pope’s authority, he should go find another church. I am sure there are many who would love to take his money. He desperately needs to unload some. Right now he risks making it through the eye of the needle.

  21. AmFem101 January 4, 2014

    Let these rich guys leave the church with their billions. This Pope is going to bring millions of disenchanted parishioners back to the church, and they’ll more than make up for the loss.

  22. RobertCHastings January 6, 2014

    I feel a lot of people are having the same reaction to Snowden. Perhaps, for him, it is connected with the public’s falling approval of Obama, even though Obama had nothing to do with the development of the FISA court (hears applications for warrants and surveillance) or the NSA, both entities being on the scene long before he became a public figure. Bradley Manning is a soldier who did the same thing as Snowden, a civilian. “Classified State Secrets” have been the subject of scrutiny in this country since its inception, and the actual classification process is currently being called into question. Bush has just as well as said that he classified way more material than he should have. Which all comes down to just how serious a security breech did Snowden commit. Most of what Manning revealed turned out to be not much more than embarrassing to certain officials who could not hold their tongues regarding their opinions of foreign leaders. Snowden has brought out into the light of day, for all to scrutinize, the NSA surveillance of domestic communications. A more or less liberal federal judge has already stated that the state’s claims that the surveillance stopped a number of terrorist attacks are bogus and that the state has NOT shown that ANY attacks were prevented, even though virtually everyone’s telephone has been tapped. Simply a case of Congressional failure to exercise proper oversight? An intelligence community run amok? Or has Snowden actually perpetrated irreversible damage? I think there is much more smoke than fire.

    1. disqus_9i6pUJ4xMT January 6, 2014

      Could be, but come on, taking secrets out of the country. And besides I do not know why people is upset, when the first telephone came out, busy bodies at switch boards listen in to the conservation, and then came the party line. Any one can pick up the phone and listen into a conservation. Then came the single party phone, then again the government kept a list of who is talking to who. Now we got the internet, cell phones, I phones,etc, more sophisticated toys that the government can keep control of. And I say if you don’t have anything to hid why be afraid. Sure it is against the Constitution, the Amendments, but why are people are complaining. They did not complain that much back then, people today is afraid, scare that someone will be listening in to their conservation or who they call.

      1. RobertCHastings January 6, 2014

        Julian Assange (of Wikileaks) is in more trouble for his sexual escapades in Sweden than for publishing all of those “secrets”. And Bradley Manning had ALL but one of the more than two dozen charges against him dropped. What was originally made out to be a catastrophic breach of security has turned out to be little of anything. And now we have found out that Snowden’s computers never even left this country. What is more dangerous to the security of this country than the escapades of all three of these characters are the leaks that come from time to time from Congress, and those leakers have yet to be apprehended OR punished. During the Bush administration, evidence that refuted the Bush stance regarding the WMD in Iraq was largely ignored, or those who made such information public were made out to be the bad guys, while evidence SUPPORTING the theory of WMD was broadly manufactured. This fiasco is in itself treasonous, and NONE of the perpetrators have been brought to justice, and probably never will be.
        I agree with you that Snowden is no hero. However, I feel he is a patriot who believed his country was heading in the wrong direction and did what was necessary to alert people. Bear in mind that the major phone carriers are FREELY allowing the government access to their data, regardless of their protestations to the contrary. Google is, as we converse, monitoring our activity to figure out what advertising to throw up on our screen – and Google is not the only one. No wonder our systems are so easily hacked by foreign governments – our own internet companies are providing them with the know-how. The almost daily alarms of yet another big chain having their data hacked is a result of failed security as much as a result of clever thieves.

        1. disqus_9i6pUJ4xMT January 6, 2014

          Did I miss something about his computers did not leave the country, I believe they did or the information left the country through Snowden. I agree that none has been brought to trial but you know what Karma says, what goes around, come back and kick you in the ass. True but if they had better pass words maybe it will be harder.

          1. RobertCHastings January 6, 2014

            Snowden stated in November that his computers had not accompanied him to China.

  23. PattyBear January 10, 2014

    Let Langone leave the church. No one will miss him. He is a hypocrite, and what the Pope says irritates him because the Pope struck a nerve with his blatant truth. I know this Pope would rather have a church with less wealth, because the wealth is corrupting. The church used to have a lot of real estate, but I suspect that a lot of it has been liquidated to pay for the abuse scandal victim’s compensation. No one misses it; they were just sitting on it anyway. The everyday working guys in the pews will donate money to feed the poor and shelter the homeless, people with the least are usually the most generous, because most working people have been close to poverty in their lifetime. Guys like Langone build hospitals as a monument to their ego. They plaster their name all over it, which is the opposite of the way Christians are supposed to give. So let Langone leave the church. No one will care, especially this wonderful, humble Pope Francis.

  24. Robert Frano January 22, 2014

    Re: “…the billionaire investor warned that he and his overprivileged friends might withhold their millions from church and charity unless the pontiff stops preaching against the excesses and cruelty of unleashed capitalism.”

    This ‘faith’ has 2 profound choices:
    Rejoin humanity in the 21st. century OR continue a slow, (‘Neo-Darwinian Extinction’), spiral as lost true believers/their children/non-pedophiles go…

    It’s been 40+ years since my tithes were donated to the Sunday collection basket;
    I guesstimate $30-60K FAILED to find its way into the profit-statements of various ‘law firms, retained’ during the R.C.C.’s (STILL UNRESOLVED)
    ’closeted’ men’s protection crises, 2002-present!

    N.A.M.B.L.A., Rome has mis-spent $3-6 billion to make sure NO ‘closeted’ molester/molester-protecting supervisor needs worry about revealing
    their ‘filthy little secret(s)’!

    Where will the next billion, diverted from assisting the poor…
    To paying the legal expenses of various ‘monsignor Wm. Lynn’s’…
    going to come from…
    If wealthy donors STOP (literally & figuratively) passing…‘The Bucks’?

    BTW: I’m straight AND I support FULL civil rights/rites for gays! I ALSO support ‘jail’, (over intra-diocesan and/or international…) transfers, initiated/authorized by Rome…
    Typically…one step ahead of the grand jury for the likes of Rev. Roger Cardinal_Princess Mahony!

  25. BiggerFatterPolitics June 2, 2014


    Click the above link to see which political party has the most pedophiles…

  26. BiggerFatterPolitics June 3, 2014

    To all the Obama haters and Fox News parrots and Ditto Heads. The fact is, and I know how much you all hate facts; nearly ALL PEDOPHILES ARE REPUBLICAN

    Nearly ALL Pedophiles are Republicans Click Here

    Convicted Republican Pedophiles Click Here

    More Republican Child Molesters Click Here

    Click the links Republicans but I hate to disappoint you because you won’t find any kiddie porn all you will find is facts. Sorry perverts.

  27. BiggerFatterPolitics June 8, 2014

    To all Obama haters and Fox News parrots and Ditto Heads. The fact is and I know how much you hate facts; nearly ALL PEDOPHILES ARE REPUBLICAN
    Nearly ALL Pedophiles are Republicans Click Here

    Convicted Republican Pedophiles Click Here
    More Republican Child Molesters Click Here

  28. Nilda Latorre June 17, 2015

    why the republicans fear Francis everybody here in the uk do not attack him so viciously .
    your children may be safe but children in poor countries will be chocking with polluted air . I hoped you have been trained how to deal with your guilty concious,

  29. Nilda Latorre June 17, 2015

    I am not a catholic I do not know much about the Catholic Church but is that how the church get the funds? uncleaned money indeed


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