In Héctor Abad Faciolince‘s op-ed:
Mujica and the Pope, with their little old cars spewing black smoke, are they truly humble or, just skilled populists who use these signs as carefully calculated messages to make them look bigger to the world? If Uruguay’s ambassador to the Vatican picked the president at the airport of Fiumicino in an old Fiat 500 (Topolino) and tied off with twine his luggage on the roof rack, would we see a sign of State austerity in it or a kind of cheapness taken to the point of ridiculousness?
If the Catholic Church really wanted to be humble, I think, it would start paying real estate taxes. They would relinquish exemptions given to them by many states of the world and they’d pay property taxes to the city for temples and palaces. It would sell its earthly and terrestrial vast estates, and it would divide what that produced (billions of dollars) among the world’s poor. The nuns would donate their urban land for public parks. It would sell the banks of which the Church is a partner or owner (where enormous fortunes of dubious provenance are washed) and it would build hospitals for those they consider their “preferential option”.