Religion Helps The Economy:
Blessings and Honour to the new Pope Francis, who has taken his name from the venerated Saint Francis of Assisi. Like Saint Francis, Pope Francis does seem to be ‘a man of the people’ and has already done away with ‘the big hat’ and much of the grandeur, pomp and ceremony which usually surrounds the activities of the Pope.
When Pope Francis was taken into the Papal Suite for the first time, he said something like: “Goodness gracious. This is outrageous. 200 people could live in here.” Instead of moving into the luxurious suite and being waited on hand and foot, he has chosen to sleep in the same quarters as the other priests of the Church, and is eating with them in the communal dining room.
One has to wonder whether the pontiff changeover was as much to do with politics and the economy, as much as it was Pope Benedict’s desire to step down. The decision to change the Pope was probably mutual.
Pope Benedict’s relinquishing of his role as Pope has caused business to rage in Italy, especially in Rome, and this good business could not have come at a better time to help remedy the effects of the recession.
Of the 46 million tourists each year who go to Italy, most of these head for the Vatican.
The Pope is improving business and his effect on the economy is likely to continue for a good number of years, according to a Radio New Zealand report just before 8AM today. Of the 46 million tourists each year who go to Italy, most of these head for the Vatican, and of course these numbers are rising since the drama at the Vatican.
Hotels in the Vatican were all sold out over Easter, and the hotel industry is still booming in Rome. Tourism since the inauguration of the new Pope Francis is already up around 5%.
Brazilians, proud of their Brazilian Pope Francis, are flocking to the Vatican to pay homage to their new hero. Tourist numbers from other Latin American countries has also risen.
Since the largest proportion of Catholics come from Brazil – something like 43% of the world’s Catholics live in Brazil- choosing a Pope from Brazil looks to be an incredibly astute choice in economic terms. Choosing a Brazilian Pope could also act as a booster to the Church in South America, to help prevent the millions of Catholics leaving the Church every year to follow other more modern versions of Christianity. It was said on a radio documentary recently that 4 million Catholics were defecting to other religions each year in Brazil.
Let’s hope that the flourish given to Italy’s economy, because of the new Brazilian Pope being elected, will have a flow-on effect and that the world economic crisis will be healed.
We pray that the influence and prayers of Pope Francis and his followers will alleviate the sufferings of the poor and hungry everywhere. We pray that world poverty will be no more, and that peace will reign in all countries.
Read Merrilyn’s post: Old Prayers of Love, Hope and Salvation.