In the story of the rich man and the poor man (Luke 16:19–31), Jesus did not name the rich man. The name Lazarus that Jesus gave to the poor man is said to have originated from a Greek word meaning 'God will help' or 'assistance of God'.

My question is: According to Roman Catholicism, why did Jesus not name the rich man? Was it in order to convey a message that His affinity was more towards the humble underdogs than towards the proud rich?

  • Welcome to Stack Exchange, we are glad you are here. At the moment this question is too broad and invites a wide range of opinions. It would help if you could identify a particular Christian tradition or denomination from which you would like an understanding of the passage. – Dick Harfield Sep 3 '15 at 7:01
  • I don't believe that there is difference of opinion among the denominations on the interpretation of the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Jesus could not have been more clear in His message . However, as the reverend coordinator has suggested, I would first like to know what the views of the Catholic church are . Thanks. – Kadalikatt Joseph Sibichan Sep 3 '15 at 7:17

During his Thursday [Oct 8, 2015] morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis may have answered your question:

"It is curious: that [rich] man’s name is never spoken. He is just an adjective: he is a rich man (It. ricco, Gr. πλοσιος). Of the wicked, in God’s record book, there is no name: he is an evil one, a con man, a pimp ... They have no name. They only have adjectives. All those, who try to go on the way of the Lord, will rather be with His Son, who has the name: Jesus Saviour. It is a name that is difficult to understand, inexplicable for the trial of the Cross and for all that He suffered for us.” - Pope Francis at Santa Marta explains why good things can happen to bad people | ROME REPORTS TV News Agency.

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