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Will the Pope Declare Google Evil?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the and-all-you-others-too dept.

The Almighty Buck 622

theodp writes "In the next few days, Pope Benedict XVI plans to issue his second encyclical, in which he is expected to denounce the use of tax havens as socially unjust and immoral in that they cheat the greater well-being of society. He is also expected to argue that the globalized economic world needs to be regulated. Prime technology companies playing the offshore 'profit laundering' game include Dell, Google, Microsoft, and Sun, who set up subsidiaries in Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is a low 12.5% and no taxes are charged on royalties (e.g. from patents)."

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Says the man... (2, Insightful)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443413)

Sitting on a big pile of gold, and money in swiss banks.

The pope sucks. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443527)

I think Google should tell the pope and all the popes before him to take a flying fuck. Why cares if the some man says something is evil? The popes (yes, lowercase) are fucking figure heads that don't deserve any power. The popes can go ahead and say the world is evil. Who gives a fuck what some self righteous moron says? And what is "evil," anyway? Evil and good are subjective adjectives given by opinionated pricks. It doesn't mean anything. Just because some book gives him power, who should believe some made up book? Gods are made up to explain things people don't understand. With science, people don't have to believe anything. A hypothesis can be tested. Popes are obsolete. They all are backward and should be stripped of their power. Religion in deities is ridiculous, too. Why do Churches still exist and why does the Pope has so much money (greedy bastard)? A lot of people are stupid. No wonder so many people struggle in science.

Anonymous Coward Sig 2.0:
--
Madonna is the best artist in the world! Madonna is like the C programming language.

Re:The pope sucks. (1, Insightful)

nlitement (1098451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443747)

Again, some asshole mods down an actually truthful post as "troll", just because it offended their little religion, or they think that the Pope's gonna sue them for not modding down a "satanist" post.

Re:The pope sucks. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443899)

Being a pope myself, I must both strongly oppose and applaud your opinion.

Re:Says the man... (0, Redundant)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443537)


Why should tax havens be immoral? This is just healthy competition at work, where I can choose to set up and operate my business where costs are lowest. Most of the residents these "tax havens" are pretty well off, and more countries are adopting the philosophy and seeing success, so the policy must be working.

Re:Says the man... (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443555)

The reason they are immoral is that were they 'moral', people would be less willing to give to the church, which is of course tax exempt (in the 'States at least).

Re:Says the man... (2, Insightful)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443825)

People don't "set up and operate" their businesses in tax havens. They operate the businesses in other places, which are usually much better markets than small, isolated tax havens, but then evade (usually democratically imposed) taxes by hiding the profits from those businesses in tax havens.

The summary (and maybe the encyclical; I'm not willing to read a piece of nutball religious propaganda to find out) obscures the issue by citing a couple examples of companies that actually operate their businesses in a tax haven. This is the exception, not the rule.

Re:Says the man... (1)

laparel (930257) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443941)

Papa Pope: That's Nonsense, I Invented Taxes. Google Is The Devil!

Re:Says the man... (2, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443643)

Better billions invested to make more wealth than feeding the icky flock, which job is that of the nations the evil tax cheats are depriving of sweet, sweet loot.

The Vatican perspective on money is interesting. Some background on what they were willing to do to get it while advancing their agenda. The background of the current Pope fits well with this:

http://www.shoahrose.com/vatican.html [shoahrose.com]

http://www.totse.com/en/politics/the_world_beyond_ the_usa/163217.html [totse.com]

sizzerb.com/images/images/pavelic_degenerate.pdf

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/Yugoslavia/views/savin g-Nazis.html [srpska-mreza.com]

Re:Says the man... (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443845)

Given that a large chunk of that money is currently being paid into funds for use in future sex-abuse cases I wouldn't worry about the Pope declaring them evil. When the head of an organisation that has overtly avoid routing out pedophiles in their ranks goes on to call you evil - the comparison actually works in your favour. Number of people directly abused or killed by Google - 0. Catholic church - can any of us count that high? And lets just say that the Godwin clock on this thread is starting unusually low....

I thought that pope guy died a couple of years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443909)

I thought that pope guy died a couple of years ago. did he get a miracle cure? or is this maybe his son?

Vatican history (0, Flamebait)

Just some bastard (1113513) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443959)

I'll have to watch the popes speech so I can laugh at the hypocrisy. [americanatheist.org]

Re:Says the man... (4, Insightful)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443969)

So your assertion is that it is hypocritical for anyone with access to money or power to ever make a statement supporting charity or paying one's taxes?

Well I'll run over and tell the pope that he needs to edict all of the church's remaining savings to some non-profit (maybe a religious organization of some sort...) before he can issue any more moral edicts to his followers.

brb.

Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443423)

Is the current pope rather stuck on ancient church history, at middle ages when church was actually a state ?

does god levy 'taxes' ? taxes are an earthly thing and have no place in religion. or is the pope trying to appease some circles that have done 'charity' for the church ?

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443571)

"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" -- Matthew 22:21

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443641)

yes, and things that are god's are the area of the church, not caesar's.

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443715)

You missed the point completely.

Christ himself said to pay taxes that the government demands. Tax shelters would go against this statement, making them "immoral" from a Christian standpoint.

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443837)

jesus of nazareth said it because otherwise romans would slaughter christians, not because it was ethical and divine.

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443877)

There were no such beings in Jesus' day, sir.

They were all Jews. He was asked by the Jews if it was legal (according to God's law) for Jews to pay taxes to the Romans.

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (4, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443885)

Then I am in full support of revoking the all churches' 501(c)(3) status within the USA. Christ said to pay taxes? Then people shouldn't be allowed to use the church as a tax break, and the church itself can pay taxes on its income too.

The Scientologists will be screwed especially hard over that one. Couldn't happen to a more deserving lot, honestly.
=Smidge=

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (1)

the unbeliever (201915) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443949)

Christ also said "Render unto God what is God's"

You can consider the Church to be doing that, I suppose.

(note: not defending the Church, just sayin... Christ said to pay the government what you owe them)

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (2, Funny)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443601)

"does god levy 'taxes' ?"

Yes. He taxes your free will as a retirement fund.

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (3, Informative)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443651)

"does god levy 'taxes' ? taxes are an earthly thing and have no place in religion. or is the pope trying to appease some circles that have done 'charity' for the church ?"

I suspect you're not interested in knowing, but in fact the God of the Bible has a long history of taxation.

Citizens were required to pay a flat tax of 10% of all earnings.

Citizens were also assessed additional fixed taxes as civic needs arose, and were required to turn over some numbers of livestock on a regular schedule.

These taxes went to the religious state, whose responsibility it was to provide judicial, executive, and legislative services, as well as to provide for the common needs of society, including various primitive safety nets for those who had fallen on hard times.

Further on, according to the Bible, in Christian communities this developed into an entirely socialist system, where resources were jointly held and distributed by a central authority. Failure to comply was punishable by death.

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443745)

and i suspect you do not read posts before replying. i have asked that whether this pope is clung up on the historic, now nonexistent role of church state in middle ages.

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (2, Informative)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443785)

I suspect you're not interested in knowing, but in fact the God of the Bible has a long history of taxation. Citizens were required to pay a flat tax of 10% of all earnings.

The crucial detail here being that it was citizens of the ancient theocratic state of Israel. It is pretty clear from the New Testament that God's people are citizens of heaven, rather than of an earthly state and that they should follow the laws of the states they reside in, so long as those laws do not force them to go against the law of God.

Further on, according to the Bible, in Christian communities this developed into an entirely socialist system, where resources were jointly held and distributed by a central authority

Nothing about a central authority distributing possessions in the New Testament. Believers voluntarily shared possessions with those in need and people like Paul would go round from time to time making voluntary collections so that those who were well off could those in need.

Failure to comply was punishable by death.

You're either misinformed, or have completely misunderstood Ananias and Saphira. They were killed by God for lying about the money they were giving. In fact, the amount they were giving wasn't an issue at all. If they had been honest and said "We got x talents for our field and our giving y talents to the church" rather than "We got y and are giving y," with the subtext that they were great, then everything would have been fine. There were quite a few early Christians who were well off, but were never required to surrender ownership of their possessions to the community. Called to be good stewards and loving neighbours, yes, but never forced to give things up.

Divine taxing - AKA The Tithe (2, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443657)

'God' used to levy taxes. They were called tithes [wikipedia.org] . Part of it was religious reasoning, but if I remember my schooling correctly then there was also a degree of taking away some of your worldly possessions so that the church could protect you from their evil influences (since the church members are, of course, stronger in this kind of thing than your normal person).

Hang on, that last bit sounds like something Scientologists and strange cults do - "Here, join us and give up your worldly possessions. No, it's okay, we'll be kind and look after them for you so that you no longer have to burden yourself with them" :D

Re:Divine taxing - AKA The Tithe (0)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443883)

'God' used to levy taxes. They were called tithes. Part of it was religious reasoning, but if I remember my schooling correctly then there was also a degree of taking away some of your worldly possessions so that the church could protect you from their evil influences

Either you remember incorrectly, or you have been misinformed. Nothing about that in the Bible.

since the church members are, of course, stronger in this kind of thing than your normal person

Nothing about that either.

Hang on, that last bit sounds like something Scientologists and strange cults do - "Here, join us and give up your worldly possessions. No, it's okay, we'll be kind and look after them for you so that you no longer have to burden yourself with them"

Well then it's a good thing that it's not remotely similar to any of the tenets of Christianity, isn't it?

Re:Taxing ? What is 'divine' about taxing ? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443677)

Actually, 'god' does levy taxes - tithing is one of the things laid out in Exodus 20 - 23 (along with little things such as proper payment for slaves, and selling ones own daughter etc).

And Why Is He Such An Expert? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443435)

It always amazes me how the Pope can tell us so much about what is right and wrong in areas where he has no experience. Does he have to worry about taxes? Does he have to make decisions on how to handle his money so he can figure out if he can afford to keep making house payments? He's isolated, doesn't have to deal with most of the issues most people have to deal with, yet he tells Roman Catholics how to handle all those issues. And, to top it off, he bases his authority for much of this, whether directly or indirectly, on a document (the Bible) which has been proven to be riddled with errors.

Re:And Why Is He Such An Expert? (4, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443529)

I was with you up until the end. Please recall that it's the Roman Catholics who take the heat for NOT basing their teachings on the Bible, and instead trust in the "consensus" of the Roman church as an organization, and on the Pope himself in particular. In short, the Pope's authority isn't based on the Bible as much as it's based on his own infallibility.

Re:And Why Is He Such An Expert? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443609)

Yes, that's true, but behind all the documents, the root, in the long run, is biblical. Yes, they've gone quite a far way away from it, but supposedly, behind it all, is a basis in the Bible. Remember, also, that it was the Roman Catholic Church that decided which writings were canon and which weren't.

Yes, they are far away from it now, so far away and self absorbed they don't know it, but ultimately, they claim their authority from Jesus and their sole right to interpret what what he said, which goes back to the gospels.

Re:And Why Is He Such An Expert? (3, Informative)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443705)

Attempting to stay on topic: since you agree that they've strayed from the Bible, you can't conclude that his statements today about taxation are biblical.

Straying further off topic: Once you've "gone quite a far way" from the Bible, it's not your basis anymore; you regard something else as foundational. Also, it was the early, and truly catholic, church which collected and distributed the New Testament and developed the Creeds. Note that the canon was not dogmatized by Rome until the Council of Trent, after the Reformation.

Re:And Why Is He Such An Expert? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443913)

On the OT part: it was not truly catholic at any time. Catholic means, essentially, universal, and even in Christianity, there were many other churches.

Many decisions on what to include or not include as canon were made before the Reformation.

Re:And Why Is He Such An Expert? (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443821)

Papal infallibility is seldom invoked per se - only on a few very specific dogmas and such (the "ex cathedra" proclamations). I believe the general idea is that the Pope is supposed to be a holy and learned man, and together with the college of cardinals and such and the direction of the Holy Spirit, capable of providing direction for his Church.

The Papal authority has (debated) Biblical backing, in the little part where Jesus says something to the effect of "Behold, I give you the keys to the Kingdom of God... whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven" and such. The regular Protestant approach to that is that the passage applies only to Peter specifically, but the Roman Catholic church considers the Pope as the successor to Peter.

Re:And Why Is He Such An Expert? (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443931)

There is constant redefinition of what is considered infallible and what isn't, in order to keep contradictions from being troublesome. The modern definition of having to use particular phrases to declare a teaching to be infallible is simply a way of wiping out the old inconvenient doctrines.

When Boniface VIII wrote Unam Sanctum, declaring that nobody could be saved without being under the authority of the Pope, he certainly understood that to be infallible; but he didn't know the magic words that are required today.

And if it's the case, as is claimed today, that there have only been a handful of invocations of papal infallibility, then why have all these new insights come only after 1850?

Also, I don't believe the other interpretation of the keys to the kingdom is that they applied only to Peter. It's that the whole Church was given the keys, which are the Gospel and the Sacraments, not just one man.

Re:And Why Is He Such An Expert? (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443869)

It really doesn't matter. Either way, the pope's alleged authority is based on muddled metaphysical nonsense. And if you examine the actions of the church over history -- which ought to be the compelling basis for its authority -- you will most likely find its claiming to speak on "morality" to be a sad joke.

The Pope has plenty of tax and business experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443807)

Remember, The Holy Roman Catholic Church is the biggest business organization in the world, it has 1.1 billion contribuables, they all pay money to the church. This is more than three times than the number of US taxpayers. Unlike the Eastern Christian or Protestant Churches, Roman Catholic Church has a very rigid and strong chain of command with the Pope at the top. Everything what is going on in the Church and affects those 1.1 billion members is fully controlled by the Pope which is an absolute ruler. There is no democracy in the Holly Roman Catholic Church, all decisions are made by the Pope!

Christianity is bollocks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443437)

Who cares what the pope thinks? Why does the popes opinion have any more weight than the ramblings of any other silly old twat who believes in archaic superstition?

Re:Christianity is bollocks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443551)

Why does the popes opinion have any more weight than the ramblings of any other silly old twat who believes in archaic superstition?

Like George W Bush you mean?

Re:Christianity is bollocks (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443589)

The only reason this HAS any meaning is because so many "silly twats" as you say take what he has to say seriously. Some guy rambling on the street corners is one thing, someone that millions around the world take as an icon of their spiritual livs is another thing entirely. Even those of us who are non-christians know that when he speaks, people listen regardless of why.

Kinda like the GWB, as the AC who responded to you said heh.

Influence is influence, whether we're talking a pope or other dude who manages to get enough of a following.

Re:Christianity is bollocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443861)

Who cares what the pope thinks?
apparently nearly a billion people on Earth. that's 1/6 of the people that represent humanity...

Why does the popes opinion have any more weight than the ramblings of any other silly old twat who believes in archaic superstition?
because the catholic [very large institution of religion] church says so. it's easier for people to go along with what they grew up with, what their parents grew up with and so on than it is for them to take a risk and think for themselves but all in all it isn't that surprising that they think this way.

Politics (0, Flamebait)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443465)

In these days and age its sad to see there still is limited separation of church and state. I wonder when the time will be that most of these church fraudsters will be exposed - bank accounts and all - so we can see who is taking um... donations.

Re:Politics (2, Insightful)

mr_matticus (928346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443607)

It's sad to see that people don't understand what 'separation of church and state' means. Tell me, how is the Vatican violating this directive?

Here's a hint: 'separation of church and state' is only to specify that the state cannot endorse a religion or foist one on its citizens. It also, of course, doesn't apply to the Vatican, which knows no such separation. It has also never meant that the church stays out of politics, or that politics stay out of churches. The church can't be granted government power, and the government can't grant the church power. That's it, and it only applies in your own borders.

The Vatican isn't making a law. It's lobbying. That's what the Pope does every time he opens his mouth. Outside of the Catholic Church and the Vatican, he has no authority.

Re:Politics (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443661)

In these days and age its sad to see there still is limited separation of church and state. I wonder when the time will be that most of these church fraudsters will be exposed - bank accounts and all - so we can see who is taking um... donations.
I'd say we have a greater separation of church and state than we do of cooperation and state. And the second has become almost as dangerous. So you'll see the first about the time you see the second.

Re:Politics (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443735)

Church corruption blowback is helpful in discrediting superstition.

For example, the hundreds of millions spent by the Catholic Church to settle out of court rather than be exposed as a pedo haven is doing useful financial damage. Considering the level of legal representation that money would buy, they must be hiding a far vaster problem than the settlements indicate.

He won't declare that Google is evil (1, Flamebait)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443469)

However, he will proclaim that surfing with anti-spyware technology prevents the natural and Godly transmission of malware-life, so that it can grow on your computer.

Double Dutch Irony (5, Insightful)

poptones (653660) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443473)

So will the church lead by example? Religion is the biggest tax haven in this country.

Just one more hypocrisy from the church, I am wagering.

Re:Double Dutch Irony (1)

naz225 (955793) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443553)

Having watched this report today, it does seem rather hypocritical: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/D689DCC6-76 51-4A82-BA72-6F0C303CCF22.htm [aljazeera.net]

Re:Double Dutch Irony (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443829)

And for fair and balanced reporting, we all know there's nothing like Al Jazeera.

Re:Double Dutch Irony (1)

anarking (34854) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443563)

EXACTLY what I was going to mention. Countless billions funnel through the Vatican untaxed by countless countries. Massive case of hypocrisy, as is usual for the Catholic Church. And yes, Pope Ratz was a member of the Nazi youth. He is also helping the Globalist elite, not the church, though they are part of the same. Peace.

Re:Double Dutch Irony (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443833)

EXACTLY what I was going to mention. Countless billions funnel through the Vatican untaxed by countless countries. Massive case of hypocrisy, as is usual for the Catholic Church.

Do you think charities should be taxed? I imagine that the Pope, in common with a lot of people, would consider charities to be a better model for church finances than corporations. You might disagree, but just because someone disagrees with you doesn't make them a hypocrite.

And yes, Pope Ratz was a member of the Nazi youth.

So adults should be held hostage to their decisions as teenagers? Not that being a member of the Hitler Youth would have been much of an option at the time. Seriously, do you tihnk that every German in their 70s today must be a Swastika-waving, Hitler-mourning Nazi?

Peace.

Somewhat hypocritical, don't you think?

Except that the Church can do NO wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443593)

That's the beauty of "divine right".

Re:Double Dutch Irony (4, Insightful)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443669)

Exactly. Look at L. Ron Hubbard. He said that the easiest way to get rich is start a religion. So he created Scientology who's sole goal is to get money from the rich to stroke their overbloated ego. They let in non-rich people, but you have to pay to advance in the religion. The same goes for just about every church, it's just that the rest of them take your money to actually do society some good once in a while and make sure the cats at the top are fat and happy. They also give you a set of morals and ethics in return for your investment, not that it makes a whole lot of difference since if you're going to be moral you will and if not you won't. Religion really doesn't have a whole lot to do with it other than pushing the blame for you actions somewhere else.

Re:Double Dutch Irony (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443955)

They let in non-rich people, but you have to pay to advance in the religion. The same goes for just about every church

I can think of a few frauds for whom that might have been the case anda few weak-willed people who gave in to the temptation of money, but can't think of any major Chrstian denominations which require a monetary contribution to 'advance' in it. In fact, given the equality in Christ of all members of the church (including between laity and clergy), the concept of advancement is meaningless. You can become more mature as a believer, but that's always talked about in the context of knowing Christ better, being more loving, etc.

it's just that the rest of them take your money to actually do society some good once in a while and make sure the cats at the top are fat and happy

I seem t recall a lot of church leaders from the New Testament being rather poor and frequently martyred, so that's certainly not the model for Christianity. Nothing in the set up of churches to encourage it either. The pay for high ranking figures in most denominations would be pretty poor compared to a corporation. Some major denominations, e.g. Presbyterianism, even rotate the "cats at the top" every year, so there wouldn't ever be an opportunity while others don't really have anyone at the top e.g. independent churches.

They also give you a set of morals and ethics in return for your investment

That would seem to be freely available in the Bible.

not that it makes a whole lot of difference since if you're going to be moral you will and if not you won't. Religion really doesn't have a whole lot to do with it other than pushing the blame for you actions somewhere else.

That's probably the closest you've got to making a semi-accurate statement about Christianity, except that instead of forcibly pushing blame, the blame is freely (and necessarily) taken by Christ.

This isn't even about Google (1)

intrico (100334) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443475)

Google is always getting singled out in these sorts of things, just because they are the popular media darling of the moment. This is really about corporate America, period.

All Global Corporations, I should say. (2, Insightful)

intrico (100334) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443503)

All Global Corporations is what I actually meant, since not all the huge corporations are based in the US.

Bleh... (0, Flamebait)

joss (1346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443493)

Cornering the world's search engine market: $80bn
Getting called evil by ex-members of the Nazi youth: priceless

Although, I must admit, just because something is priceless doesnt
mean one wouldnt rather just have the money sometimes given
a suitable figure.

Re:Bleh... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443963)

Given the proven record of the Vatican protecting Nazis, that is not flamebait.

The cooperation between the Vatican and escaping Fascists taints anyone rising to Pope, because those approving him for the position would have either been involved or known of it and kept silent. They would not appoint a "boss of bosses" who would turn on them. Remember the age of the Cardinals when you consider what they do and who they elevate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratlines_(history) [wikipedia.org]

http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?page=article&i d=1821 [thetrumpet.com]

Can I declare the Pope Evil? (0, Flamebait)

bariswheel (854806) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443497)

For lack of understanding global economics, for basing judgments on literature with no backing/evidence? Don't get me started.

Re:Can I declare the Pope Evil? (2, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443791)

First and foremost that little Hitler Youth is evil because he still prohibits birth control. How much suffering in how many Catholic countries is caused by over population? That is all the fault of the Pope. Ever poor family of 12 that loses kids to starvation or the side effects of malnutrition can look to the Pope for why they couldn't just have two kids that they were able to take care of. Every treehugger that wonders why Brazil is cutting down rainforest for farm land to feed their ever expanding population can look to the Pope. I know that there are other reasons that impoverished people have large families, but that usually stops as soon as the women there have access to the pill.

Then you can ask him why he thinks that paying taxes is actually contributing to the good of the common man? Hasn't every war in history been started by either those-collecting-taxes or those-who-want-to-collect-taxes ? The Papacy is the epitome of taking power and money from the poor masses and giving it to the elite few.

Re:Can I declare the Pope Evil? (0, Flamebait)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443917)

Hasn't every war in history been started by either those-collecting-taxes or those-who-want-to-collect-taxes ?

Um, no, quite a few of them were caused by... popes (and other religious figures), not over taxes, but over stupid, unintelligible points of dogma.

Fanatical, nonsensical devotion inspires people to kill senselessly no matter what facet of life inspired it.

Poor people are responsible: they have lots of sex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443961)

If you are poor and have no money the only accessible form of entreteinment is sex. This is one of the main reasons why poor people have so many children. It is not Pope's responsibility, it is theirs. The Pope does not tell them to have lots of unprotected sex.

This not a matter of the church (3, Insightful)

Winckle (870180) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443499)

As Jesus said, "Render unto Caeser what is Caeser's, and unto God what is God's"

I'm missing how this is bad... (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443521)

So, let me get this straight - a company like Google sets up an office in Europe to handle its European affairs, gets taxed on this profit at that country's rate, and there's something wrong with that?

Re:I'm missing how this is bad... (5, Funny)

abigor (540274) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443707)

Yes, apparently the diety of a bunch of goat-herding nomads from thousands of years ago doesn't like it, so it's got to be stopped.

Re:I'm missing how this is bad... (1)

Hoppelainen (969375) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443749)

They don't have an office in Europe just "to handle their European affairs", they have an office specifically in Ireland only to forward their profits from their affairs in many countries to that office because Irish taxes are very low, thus "cheating" other countries of their taxes.

I'm not making a statement of whether this is right or wrong, it just a fact.

Ha~ (0, Offtopic)

eboluuuh (1139173) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443523)

I hope he does just to see a whole bunch of Catholics take his advice.

Ireland? Surely not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443545)

While the Irish tax rates and investment incentives are somewhat better than the EU average, I don't think they count as a tax haven by any reasonable definition. If the pope is condemning tax havens, he's probably thinking more of micro-states like Bermuda or Monaco or the like. A proper definition of a tax haven should probably include that the local government refuses to cooperate with foreign tax authorities, while encouraging foreign bank accounts. This is quite different from encouraging foreign investments, which is attempted by all governments to various extents. Besides, isn't Ireland a good Catholic country, unlikely to be rebuked by the Pope on that basis alone?

Re:Ireland? Surely not! (1)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443859)

Other points about Ireland - just to provide the complete picture:

1. The only english speaking (first language) member of the eurozone
2. Pro-US (every soldier that went to Iraq stopped at Shannon for a pint).
3. Consistently one of the most politically right country in Europe - despite Bertie Ahern's declaration of being 'the only socialist in the Dail' (if Bertie's a socialist then George Bush is a communist).
4. Nice to place to live if you're an executive, fishing, horse racing, golf and plenty of high brow parties - (except this year as it's been pissing rain for a solid 8 months).
5. Pro-Microsoft - Charlie McCreevy (of software patent fame) was Finance Minster only 4 years ago - and he's not too good for a visit from BG.
6. Very strong partnership model (like having strong unionisation but where everybody gets along).

I'm not saying these are good points or that I'm happy about them - just that they are.

I don't see anything "evil" about it (4, Insightful)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443549)

A large part of Google operations are in Europe, so is a big part of their R&D. Why should they tax all their income in the US?

Except that (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443603)

Most of these companies do have legitimate offices in Ireland, and employ people there.

Can't I declare the catholic church to be evil???

hmm (3, Interesting)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443615)

im from ireland, and practically every corporation has an office here

the corporate tax is low (12.5%) and income tax is ok as well (20%) tho EU slaps 20% VAT on everything

a lot of countries look enviously lately it seems at ireland and the low-ish taxes here (the country is doing fairly for last decade)

still i wouldnt call this a tax heaven, compared to Dubai lets say

Solution: Complaining states should reduce taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443635)

If taxes were low everywhere there would be no tax heavens. If Netherland can live with low taxes why cant Italy? Is the Italian Government any special compared to Hollands?
Anyway who cares what the Pope says, we are not in the Middle Ages anymore. Back then the Pope was more powerful than the Emperor, the Papal States were a secular power which waged war all over Italy and beyond, very often the Pope himself was also a general and led his armies in battle. True, now there are 1.1 billion catholics (compared to 800 million Protestants and 300 Million Eastern Christians) but most of them are secular people, dont care what the Pope says.

Who gives a shit what he thinks? (1)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443639)

While Mr. Ratzinger may think that he has come exclusive Hi-Speed Connection to the Magic Man In The Sky, we know better.

I happen to agree with him on this particular matter (ie, tax havening is often immoral), but I fail to see why his opinion should carry any more weight than mine.

Re:Who gives a shit what he thinks? (1)

dircha (893383) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443759)

"I happen to agree with him on this particular matter (ie, tax havening is often immoral), but I fail to see why his opinion should carry any more weight than mine."

Because, you, Mr. Mad.Frog, have an audience of perhaps 10, whereas the Pope has a committed audience of several hundred million, a distribution channel that extends into neighborhoods in every corner of the Earth, and a - if not so committed - at least tentative audience of a billion+.

I suspect we could agree upon a fairly precise causal account of why his opinion matters more than yours, Mr. Mad.Frog.

But the simple fact is: it does.

Re:Who gives a shit what he thinks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443789)

I happen to agree with him on this particular matter (ie, tax havening is often immoral), but I fail to see why his opinion should carry any more weight than mine.
Which major world religion are you the leader of?

MSM and Religion (5, Insightful)

ThereIsNoDog (702469) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443645)

As Mark Shea once said, "Deduct 50 IQ points when the media discusses religion. Deduct 75 points when discussing Catholicism." It is surprising (or not) that people are making judgments on a document that even isn't released. Wait until the document is released and read what it actually says before commenting.

Re:MSM and Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443853)

RTFA? Why?

We are /.ers are we not?

Mixing up issues and non-issues (2, Informative)

Paul Johnson (33553) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443647)

The Alternet article mixes up two issues with different rates of taxation.

On one hand we have the way in which company profits can be moved around by changing the rates charged between subsidiaries in different countries. If your research division is in a high tax country and your manufacturing in a low tax country then you can shift profits to the manufacturing division by treating the research as a cost centre. If its the other way around then you can treat the research as a profit centre and charge manufacturing for all the valuable IPR they are using. This is a known bug in international company tax, and needs dealing with.

On the other hand there is generally low taxation on individual earnings and product sales within a country. The Alternet article gets into the politics of envy here by citing highly paid executives who also pay a relatively low rate of tax. But hey, they live and work in that country, so its an entirely local issue. Its up the the voters in a democracy to decide what taxes to charge and what they ought to get for that money. For instance the UK tax rates look much higher than in the US (35% GDP as opposed to around 26% of GDP) until you factor in the extra money paid by US companies for employee health plans. At that point the UK, with its tax-funded NHS, suddenly looks like a much cheaper place to do business.

Paul.

Pope (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443699)

I don't know how many of you have noticed, but the current pope looks and acts like palpatine!!palpatine!! [mediabistro.com] .

Kettle calling the pot black. (1)

cesman (74566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443721)

Where was the church when childern were being abused the the clergy? Hey pope, people in glass houses.... Where is Sinead with another picture?

Because the politicians are more ethical (1)

Jodka (520060) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443725)

...he is expected to denounce the use of tax havens as socially unjust and immoral
Ya, right, because politicans spend money more "morally" than the rest of us.

Corporate law is at fault (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443757)

Under the U.S. system, corporate executives will get fired -- or at least the companies will get sued by shareholders and the executives fired -- if they take any action based on morality instead of for profit. The only exception is if the moral action would be a good PR move that would boost profit, which is only a small percentage of the time. The norm is to aggressively pursue profits in the hopes that any associated immorality does not get publicized.

I'm not sure what a Catholic is supposed to do under this system, other than advocate for change, and pursue other endeavors (such as working for privately owned corporations) until U.S. corporate law is changed (including shareholder tort reform).

Absolutely (3, Funny)

no-body (127863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443787)

so Bill Gates converts to become a Roman Catholic - they do everything nowadays to get followers since their sex rules are so unattractive - well, except in the US, that is...

Just pope bashing nothing else? (1)

tempmpi (233132) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443793)

I think the pope isn't really wrong here. While it is perfectly understandable and legal to use a tax haven like Ireland, it is still a real problem and not really a fair behaviour. It only works out for Ireland because big companies from all over the world choose to tax their EU earnings in Ireland. If all EU states would lower their tax to 12.5%, it wouldn't work for anyone.
Any state should be free to set their tax rates to any level they like, but please only for money really earned in that state and not for money earned elsewhere.
At the moment it works this way: Most of the money is earned in France, UK and Germany but all tax is paid in Ireland. Often there is nothing but a office in Ireland or the product is packaged.

track record (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443801)

Given the catholics track record at preventing sex before marriage, contraception, sex with others while married, gratuitous killing of the rest of god's children, drinking, drugs, and general looting and pillaging, I think the church should quit while they are ahead. In fact many of these are greater problems in largely catholic countries than not.

It is not that I disagree with the sentiments. In fact I believe the biggest problem we have in this country is people earning great deal of monies in the country, and then refusing to return a share to insure that such opportunities continue. It is like a person driving a big car with a support the troops sticker on it, then complaining that gas it too expensive(even though it is often cheaper than coke or coffee), and demanding that we deserve tax rebates, even though our troops desperately need the money. No, it is merely that people seem to love to do the opposite of what their church says, so often the safest thing for a church to do is just remain silent, expecially when the church does the opposite of what it is proposing.

Musings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443803)

The pope has a cool hat. Bet I could stuff a lot of tinfoil in that thing.

Forgetful (1)

stevenmu (1139869) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443817)

He's obviously forgotten that a large chunk of the taxes those corporations pay in Ireland (along with the rest of us taxpayers here) has gone to providing compensation for victims of abuse at the hands of the church.

Hell is full of Popes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443831)

Ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

Nice writeup! (1)

Estanislao Martnez (203477) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443857)

"In the next few days, Pope Benedict XVI plans to issue his second encyclical, in which he is expected to denounce the use of tax havens as socially unjust and immoral in that they cheat the greater well-being of society. He is also expected to argue that the globalized economic world needs to be regulated. Prime technology companies playing the offshore 'profit laundering' game include Dell, Google, Microsoft, and Sun, who set up subsidiaries in Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is a low 12.5% and no taxes are charged on royalties (e.g. from patents)."

And of course, this is exactly equivalent to making a pronouncement that Google specifically is evil. Of course.

what would the world expect from Pope is (5, Funny)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443881)

(a) should the Internet move to IPv6 or stick with IPv4? Which one is the lesser evil?

(b) Blue-Ray vs HD-DVD: what would Jesus watch?

Is Google Evil? (1)

IAmBetterThanYou (1151033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443887)

As we all know I have by far the largest penis on this forum. Due to the status this gives me amongst your lowly selves, I don't often lower myself to replying to normal threads and instead spend my time smoking fine cigars, being respected by my fellow man and my enormous wang revered by countless beautiful models. However, on this issue, I feel compelled to comment.

As we all know, provided you aren't already enraptured by the gentle swaying of my enormous beef truncheon, the Pope is Catholic. As we all also know, if you can avert your eyes from my thumping bloodhead for just a few seconds longer, is that Catholicism is a religion founded on the basis that you never show your penis to anyone, except small boys who are unlikely at such a tender age to understand the difference between a tiny flaccid pecker such as your own and an enormous swollen man-wang such as mine. Also, the Pope is the leader of Catholicism, the religion we have just deduced is based around the shrivelled, wizened, narrow pillar of a conspiracy to hide the average man's tiny, insignificant penis from the big, wide, cavernous world. From this, we can establish that the Pope probably has the smallest penis in the world.

Now, let's look at the other party in this debate. Google. Google is run by millionaires. Billionaires in fact. Now successful people - if you know any through association, which I doubt - all have huge wangs. You can tell by the way we have to adjust our gait to cast you a disparaging glance as you walk past in your $2 sneakers, blissfully uninhibited by girlfriends, self-respect or five pounds of swinging cock-beef hidden in your trouser leg. The conclusion is almost as obvious as my package in a speedo: The Pope hates Google, because he has a tiny, insignificant little pecker and the owners of Google, like myself, have huge woman-pleasing spunk-spigots. But it's alright, he can't help it. He just wasn't born with my um... massive 'advantage'.

Re:Is Google Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443973)

LOL My penis is so big, I can cum up my own bum!

Tax Havens are evil? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443897)

What the hell? Churches are tax exempt.

Typical religious hypocritism.

Typical (2, Insightful)

Caelicola (836792) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443915)

So we have the Pope thinking in German, writing in Latin, and we're denouncing an English translation of a document that hasn't been published yet? Yes, sounds about right. Of course the document will be logical and well-reasoned, with a focus on protecting the poor who are paying more than they otherwise would have to without the rich evading taxes... but naturally - few will bother to read the always poorly translated English document, and no one will read the Latin. But everyone will be sure in their hearts that it's a scheme and a plot or an overstepping of boundaries. Lovely.

look who's talking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20443943)

This is the pope: ex-Hitler-youth, head of the inquisition, responsible for millions of deaths every year, friend to the rich and powerful throughout history, and head of an organization that is among the most intolerant in the world and has perpetrated more genocide than any organization in human history.

The fact that he wants corporate profits to stay in the countries of the rich and powerful is not exactly surprising.

Evil who? (1)

trondotcom (1148541) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443971)

Prime technology companies playing the offshore 'profit laundering' game include Dell, Google, Microsoft, and Sun, who set up subsidiaries in Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is a low 12.5% and no taxes are charged on royalties (e.g. from patents)

Shouldn't him declare Ireland evil instead of the companies? :-)

Evil?? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443977)

Why do we need to pope to tell us what we already know? Or should know? The entire physical universe by its very nature is "evil". It's the evil of might makes right. So what?

make over sized collection plates then (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443989)

As if it is the responsibility of businesses to make sure governments get a cut of their profits so the church folk and live better off. The Pope should stick with dealing with religion and his particular followers instead of expecting handouts from others.

It's governments responsibility to regulate how businesses operate withing their boundaries. IMO.

LoB

One world order (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#20443993)

Sounds like he wants one world government to regulate/tax everyone on the planet regardless it they are a sovereign nation or not.

And i suppose if there is a clash of morality between countries, he gets to choose?
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