I saw an article on this on the front page of the local newspaper, Al Watan Daily. The video is slightly crude but that is also why it is getting attention.
The author of the video Sarah Silverman is known for her satirical comedy which addresses social taboos and controversial topics such as racism, sexism, and religion.
End world hunger? Sell the Vatican, says comedian
ROME: Comedian Sarah Silverman has a new proposal for ending world hunger: “Sell the Vatican.” In a new profanityÙ€laced monologue making the rounds on YouTube in time for the U.N. World Food Day on Friday, Silverman suggests that it”s time for the pope to “move out of your house that is a city” and use the proceeds to feed the world”s poor. “On an ego level alone you will be the biggest hero in the history forever,” she exclaimed, adding: “Sell the Vatican. Feed the world!”
The Vatican clearly has no plans to follow suit. On Thursday, a spokesman declined to comment. But the Catholic League, the U.S. Catholic Civil Rights Organization, denounced Silverman and cable broadcaster HBO for her ”obscene” and ”filthy diatribe.”
In a statement, it noted that such an attack would never have been leveled against, say, the chief rabbi of Jerusalem or the State of Israel and added that the “Catholic Church operates more hospitals and feeds more of the poor than any private institution in the world.” Yet the Reverend James Martin, Culture Editor of the Jesuit magazine America, says Silverman may be onto something. In an online article, Martin noted that “Jesus Christ (PBUH) himself told his followers to sell whatever they had and give it to the poor.
“Of course Pope Benedict XVI cannot ”sell” any of the treasures of the Vatican, the same way that your local archbishop cannot sell off the cathedral at a whim; they are not his; they belong to the church”s.” Martin wrote. “And the church is simply not the hierarchy but the entire people of God.” But he added: “Still, perhaps Silverman, in her postmodern, pottyÙ€mouthed way is on to something. Sell the Vatican? Well, maybe not everything but perhaps a statue or two?”
For the record, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, which just released its annual report on the state of world hunger, says “global food output will have to increase by 70 percent to feed a projected population of 9.1 billion in 2050. To achieve that, poor countries will need 44 billion U.S. dollars in annual agricultural aid, compared with the current $7.9 billion, the RomeÙ€based FAO said. Overall, an annual net investment in agriculture of $83 billion is needed to feed the world.” Even if the pope were to sell the Vatican, it wouldn”t be enough.
In 2004, the Vatican disclosed that the Holy See”s real estate was worth 700 million euros or about $908 million at the time. That doesn”t include St. Peter”s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, which the Vatican termed priceless and valued at a symbolic 1 euro. While the Vatican”s artistic holdings are obviously worth millions, the institution itself does not bring in a lot of cash. In 2008, it ran a 0.9 million euro ($1.28 million) deficit, the second year of losses. Revenues were 253.9 million euros and expenses 254.8 million euros.
The Vatican began publishing its finances in 1981, when Pope John Paul II ordered financial disclosure to debunk the idea that the Vatican was rich. Silverman, who is no stranger to religiously and racially charged slurs, gained international attention with her 2008 “The Great Schlep” campaign in which she exhorted Jews to go to Florida to convince their grandparents to vote for Barack Obama.Ù€AP