How long were the rich going to remain silent and let the Pope Francis attack capitalism and consumerism? Not long. Billionaire feathers have been ruffled and they are making it known.
Not only that, but he also extended the same warning on behalf of his friends in the billionaire club.
He said that the Church’s criticism hurt the sentiments of the rich to the extent that they may just become “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.” He added that rich donors were already losing their enthusiasm for the restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, a $180 million project.
Langone said he's raised the issue more than once with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York.
“I've told the cardinal, '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 said.
The new pope's style is set apart by his predecessors in terms of frugality. He shunned the spacious papal apartment and lives in a small suite in a Vatican guest house, prefers a Ford Focus to the traditional pope's Mercedes and by and large prefers doing things by himself.
The pope called for "rethinking" of economic development models in a message to world leaders and international bodies.
He said that huge salaries and bonuses were symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality and called for the nations to narrow the wealth gap.
"The grave financial and economic crises of the present time ... have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness and security in consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of a sound economy," he said.
"The succession of economic crises should lead to a timely rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in lifestyles," he added.
That gives a clear idea of why some people with tons of money are apprehensive of the pope and the views he holds about the wealth disparity in the world.
These threats, no matter how veiled they are, show the ugly and insecure side of the privileged few and how they cannot fathom sharing their billions without getting anything in return.
However, the new Pope may not feel threatened as he has drawn four times the crowd to the Vatican than his forerunners. More funds have poured in as well.