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Jose Vielma wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • In conversations I've been having with other people, they have asked why the Pope and the bishops wear so much gold and why the churches and similar gathering places are also built with so much gold?

There are people starving in the world and the value of these items could be used to help the needy. I am a Catholic and I always defend the teachings of the Catholic Church, however, I would like to give a more definite answer to those who question me on this matter.

Please respond.


  { Why does the Pope and bishops wear so much gold and why are the churches built with gold? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Jose —

Thanks for the question.

The pope and bishops wear garments adorned with gold, in churches adorned with gold, because every Sunday that we celebrate the Heavenly liturgy, which is happening in Heaven, we also celebrate it in our local parishes. We are entering into that one Mass for all eternity that was foreshadowed in the Old Testament.

Read Exodus 25 and 1 Kings 6. You will see in the Old Testament that the whole interior of the Temple in Jerusalem was overlaid with gold. This was a foreshadowing of what was to come in the New Covenant in the book or Revelation. The liturgy we attend each Sunday incorporates many small details that we see in the Book of Revelation. Even the Early Church Fathers, the very first Christians, who lived from 100 A.D. to 787 A.D., saw this. Though what we see in the book of Revelation is not directly identifiable in the Mass we attend each Sunday, we do see those small details from various chapters, as well as images, statues, and pictures of our saintly brothers and sisters — and, in faith, — we believe Mass is Heaven on earth. (CCC 1089, 1136)

It is a matter of faith, but as a Catholic defender you should point out to your Protestant friends, what is in Heaven, that is also in your Catholic parish:

In Heaven, God.
In your local parish, God-Incarnate – Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

In Heaven, angels and saints.
In your local parish, angels, though they are invisible, and pictures, images, and statues of the saints and angels.

In Heaven, incense representing the prayers of the faithful rising to Heaven.
In your local parish, incense for the same reason.

In Heaven, The High Priest, Jesus, perpetually offering His one Sacrifice.
In your local parish, the priest-celebrant, standing in the place of Jesus,
In the Person of Christ, the man.

In Heaven, songs of praise and worship.
In your local parish, the Gloria, Holy, Holy, Holy, and more.

Any Protestant not open to Catholic teaching will never understand the book of Revelation and what it's all about because it is about something they don't have: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

As Dr. Scott Hahn states in his book, the Lamb's Supper:

Still, the Book of Revelation was up to something different, something more. Whereas Israel prayed in imitation of the angels, the Church of the Apocalypse worshipped together with the angels. (Revelation 19:10) Whereas only the priests were allowed in the holy place of Jerusalem's Temple, Revelation showed a nation of priests (See Revelation 5:10; 20:6) dwelling always in the presence of God.

No longer would there be a heavenly archetype and an earthly imitation. Revelation now revealed one worship shared by men and angels!

Pages 69-70, the Lambs Supper.

Sometimes a similar question is posed to us, asking why the Church doesn't give all its riches to the poor. If this was the intent of your question, these postings may help:

I hope this helps,


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
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The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.