Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Paging Martin Luther

I know that Ratzi is trying to reign in some of the more "modern" impulses of the Catholic church, but, really, indulgences? They're making a comeback:

In recent months, dioceses around the world have been offering Catholics a spiritual benefit that fell out of favor decades ago — the indulgence, a sort of amnesty from punishment in the afterlife — and reminding them of the church’s clout in mitigating the wages of sin.
Railing against indulgences was Martin Luther's main shtick back in 1517 when the Reformation was born. The Church flat out sold them back then, which they haven't done since 1567. But that doesn't mean salvation is free - charitable contributions can get you there.

So how, exactly, do these things work?
According to church teaching, even after sinners are absolved in the confessional and say their Our Fathers or Hail Marys as penance, they still face punishment after death, in Purgatory, before they can enter heaven. In exchange for certain prayers, devotions or pilgrimages in special years, a Catholic can receive an indulgence, which reduces or erases that punishment instantly, with no formal ceremony or sacrament.

There are partial indulgences, which reduce purgatorial time by a certain number of days or years, and plenary indulgences, which eliminate all of it, until another sin is committed. You can get one for yourself, or for someone who is dead.
Sorry, folks, but this type of discount eternal punishment scheme is just as silly as thetans and Xenu nuking volcanoes. Different flavor, but same type of silly nonsensical dish.

1 comment:

Chris James said...

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