Vatican Attacks Prosperity Gospel:
1. CRUX coverage
On July 18, Crux reported, “Papal confidantes rue prosperity gospel, distorted ‘American dream.’” Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro and Presbyterian pastor Marcelo Figueroa published, “The Prosperity Gospel: Dangerous and Different” in La Civiltà Cattolica. CRUX stresses that it is the unofficial voice of Pope Francis. Figueroa is an Argentinian who has ghost-written papers for the pope. Spadaro and Pope Francis are both Jesuits, and are reportedly very close.
“Although not an official publication of the Vatican, La Civiltà Cattolica is reviewed by the Vatican’s Secretary of State before publication, and under Spadaro, who serves as its editor-in-chief, it has been considered one of the foremost vehicles for understanding the views of the current pontificate.” The article was approved by Pope Francis, and may even have been commissioned by him.
The critique favors generalities over specifics. For example, it condemns the prosperity gospel for “An emphasis on economic well-being and health, along with a limiting of the Holy Spirit to one’s individual desires, have distorted the fullness of the Christian.” Similarly, it “puts the accent on the faith as a ‘merit’ to climb the social ladder,” which they call “unjust and radically anti-evangelical.”
According to these theologians, believers in the prosperity gospel, whether they win or lose financially, lose spiritually:
“Material victory places the believer in a position of pride due to the power of their ‘faith.’ On the contrary, poverty hits them with a blow that is unbearable for two reasons: first, the person thinks their faith is unable to move the providential hands of God; second, their miserable situation is a divine imposition, a relentless punishment to be accepted in submission.”
Not only does this gospel harm the individual, it collectively ruins entire countries:
“A consequence of the prosperity gospel’s entanglement in the idea of the American Dream, according to Spadaro and Figueroa, is that the economic success of the United States has been viewed as a direct result of its faith. “It leads to the conclusion that the United States has grown as a nation under the blessing of the providential God of the Evangelical movement,” they write. “Meanwhile, those who dwell south of the Rio Grande are sinking in poverty because the Catholic Church has a different, opposed vision, exalting poverty.”
Good Catholic countries like Mexico – which supposedly rejects the prosperity gospel – suffer in blessed poverty as a result of their good Catholic beliefs. America, the home of the prosperity gospel, is “under the blessing of the providential God of the Evangelical movement.” That “providential God of the Evangelical movement” is really an alias for the Great Deceiver, Satan.
According to these theologians, the fruit of this gospel is evil: “This is why there can be a lack of empathy and solidarity in these cases from its followers. There can be no compassion for those who are not prosperous, for clearly they have not followed the rules and thus live in failure and are not loved by God.” In case you didn’t get the message, when you “are not loved by God,” you are going to hell!!!
Pope Francis and the Prosperity Gospel
CRUX claims that Pope Francis has nothing to do with the Prosperity Gospel:
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has routinely criticized a theology of prosperity, emphasizing that salvation is given, rather than something that is derived from material success or prosperity.
The Prosperity Gospel leads to the deadly sin of pride, and is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church, which loves poverty. It is ICKY!!!! It is an American invention. The “providential God” that inspires this heresy is really Satan. Pope Francis has always condemned it.