Dar-es-Salaam: The Vatican official has cautioned Church people against succumbing to the lure of money at the cost of Gospel values.
“Money commands everything today, money commands power, money creates the poor, money creates death, it creates arms, and it creates fear,” bemoaned Cardinal Bráz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, while addressing a group of leaders of religious women of Africa.
The 70-year-old Brazilian cardinal reminded the nuns that real followers of Christ do not want to serve money. “We want to serve God and put money at the service of God and our brothers and sisters,” the cardinal asserted challenging the Religious Women in Africa to become wary of the idolatry of money which he said is very real.
The cardinal celebrated the opening Mass for more than 150 religious women-leaders attending the 17th Plenary Assembly of the Association of Consecrated Women in Eastern and Central Africa in Dar-es-Salaam, capital of Tanzania.
The assembly, which being held in collaboration with the Tanzania Catholic Association of Sisters, ends on September 2. Its theme is “Revitalize Our Solidarity for Deeper Evangelization in Today’s Complex Reality within the Region.”
Cardinal Bráz de Aviz termed as unfortunate that some consecrated persons placed more trust in bank accounts than in God, a scenario that has often caused friction between Bishops and the Religious.
“How often do bishops and religious fight over money issues? Is it not true? That is how it is; we know it because we receive news of these fights; we, therefore, have to change,” he recommended.
The cardinal advised the Religious women to cultivate a listening spirit and to learn first before they can teach. By so doing, he said that they would be communicating what is from the heart, reports the Vatican Radio.
The cardinal also reminded the consecrated women that they had received everything freely from God and as a sign of gratitude they should thank him for his abundant blessings. He explained that God gave his only begotten Son as a sacrifice for the love of humanity and he called on the Religious to lives of gratitude by doing the will of the Lord.