Letter: Solve Vatican’s dilemma by holding a garage sale

Buffalo News [Buffalo NY]

April 24, 2024

By Beth Kwiatek

Here’s an idea for the Roman Catholic Church, from a secular whose grandparents came from Italy and Poland, yet who still prays to the Saints, the Virgin, and the Holy Trinity.

Worldwide, the church has paid over $4 billion in settlement fees. With billions more to come. Instead of selling its buildings to find funds to pay the victims of sexual abuse by clergy, start selling treasures from The Vatican. I am serious. Does the Vatican really need to hold on to Nero’s bathtub? It’s valued at $2 billion. Or maybe sell a few of the thirty-five volumes of catalogs from the 53 miles of shelving in the Vatican’s secret archives. Or a couple of paintings from the over 20,000 masterpieces valued at over $15 billion.

Better yet, sell the Pieta. I am sure some Saudi prince or perhaps even a Russian oligarch would be willing to pay billions to claim ownership. The Vatican can just show a hologram image where it once sat with a sign that reads “Sold for thirty pieces of silver.”

After all, the Vatican is only the custodian of these treasures, as the true owners are us Catholics collectively. I think the people would agree to a Vatican garage sale. It’s time for the Catholic Church to pay for their sins.

Beth Kwiatek