In November of 2017, the Vatican announced it would stop the sale of cigarettes in its duty free shop and supermarket. Pope Francis claimed, “The Holy See cannot contribute to an activity that clearly damages the health of people.” (Evidently, they were previously unaware of the 6 million people who die from cigarette-related deaths every single year.)
It will cost the Catholic Church a sizeable chunk of change to stop lung cancer. Some estimate the Vatican sold $11 million worth of cigarettes each year. But dollar signs notwithstanding, the Church claimed, “No profit can be legitimate if it puts lives at risk.”
That’s a good stance. Really. It’s nice to see the Church cleaning up its act on this issue. However, it does beg the question, Which ecclesiastical leader thought it was a good idea to sell cigarettes in the Church in the first place? And then there’s that pesky legal point about the Roman Catholic Church operating as a “non profit” entity while simultaneously “making a profit” on tobacco sales.
In the last 500 years, the Catholic Church has quit selling cigarettes and indulgences. Hopefully they now realize that their call is not to “make a buck,” but rather, to “make disciples.”
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)