Pope Francis to Trappists: No More Beer
I don't follow the papacy too closely, but it's been a high-profile two weeks for the new pontiff, from his casual manner to washing the feet of Muslim girls. But now he's gone too far.
In his first message to monastic communities across Europe, Francis urged a "less mercantile" approach to financial independence. He praised Benedictine and Trappist monasteries for their welcoming, engaged approach to surrounding communities, but warned that the Catholic Church should not get too involved in "retail" enterprises. Many non-profits, he pointed out, raise funds easily enough without resorting to cheese and jelly sales.You think Westvleteren is expensive now? Wait until they they quit making it. The black market will be huge.
Francis also singled out the handful of Trappist monasteries producing beer in Europe, adding that anything that "interfered with clear devotion" was not a proper function for Church brothers. Church traditionalists, already in turmoil over early actions by the new pope, were left reeling by the news.