If You Will Please Indulge Me…

Greetings from the 21st Century. At least that’s where I believe we are. I may be wrong. After seeing the NY Times website today, who knows? Believe it or not, they have a whole discussion thing going on among experts, with us peons getting to submit moderated comments, about the Roman Catholic Church giving (ie selling) indulgences to avoid a dreary dungeon they call “Purgatory.” You know what that is; the place between heaven and hell where souls are forced atone for their earthly sins by sitting helplessly and watching endless performances of CATS. Well the policy now us that you can sort of bribe your way out of it, an offer that they had withdrawn ages ago.

Well, I’ve been way ahead of the curve on that one. I have been offering – well, selling, but with a free offer! – indulgences for years now. And mine come in a forgivehandy wallet size. Match that, Pope Benedict, Part XVI. So as to the NY TImes, here’s what I had to say to them…

Why in the world are we having this discussion in the 21st Century?!?

What Roman Catholics do is their business and deserves to go no further than its own membership. Do I care what the member policy is at the NYC Racquet Club? Not a whit. Why this sect is forever in the news baffles me. It is just as ridiculous as when the press – TV and print – refer to Edward Egan as the Archbishop of New York. He is NOT New York’s Archbishop, he is a “Prince” in a private social club. New York has no “Archbishop.” We have a mayor, a comptroller even a public advocate but the last time I checked the City Charter we had no Archbishop. I mean, what do you people think, that this is medieval Paris and Edward Eagan is Cardinal Richelieu?

If this private club – complete with outfits and membership initiation rituals – wants to sell indulgences for whatever “price” they elect, how is that anything I need to know? Or care about? The Roman Catholic Church is not THE Church, just one wing of a larger “thing” called Christianity.  True, they once had control of Europe, but that was what people here meant by calling this The New World. That is a huge concept, starting a whole new planet! A new world without the religious fetters of The OLD World. So please, if you would indulge me, cease from this focus on the mumbo-jumbo of what is – I reiterate –  a private social club. I don’t read such constant updates about the head of the Shriners or the Masons, why do I have to know about the goings on in what is essentially the last remnants of the Roman Empire?

Peace.  (On St. Valentine’s Day – the irony does not escape me)

I submitted this to their discussion blog. Let’s see if it passes muster with the Old Gray Lady.

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2 Responses to “If You Will Please Indulge Me…”

  1. Timothy Says:

    Greetings! Saw your post in Google Blogsearch and came to visit.

    >”the place between heaven and hell where souls are forced atone for their earthly sins by sitting helplessly and watching endless performances of CATS.”

    You may have confused hell with purgatory. Purgatory is that “moment” between life and heaven when souls are purified to be in the eternal presence of God. No place. No atoning or punishment. Purification as described in 1st Corinthians 3:13-15.

    >”Why this sect is forever in the news baffles me.”

    Yet, here you are blogging about Catholics, purgatory and indulgences. Seems you too can’t just ignore the Church.

    >”The Roman Catholic Church is not THE Church, just one wing of a larger “thing” called Christianity.” (BTW, as Catholicism is the mainstream of Christianity, it hardly meets any definition for “sect”.)

    Catholics are the only group claiming to be THE Church and since most of the world’s Christians are Catholics, Catholics pretty much have license to that title.

    >”private social club”

    Hardly. Its a very public Church open to anyone. Everyone is invited, including you (BTW, if you’re a baptised Christian, you’re already a member of the Catholic Church.)

    >”that was what people here meant by calling this The New World.”

    The New World was discovered by Catholics, explored by Catholics and colonized by Catholics. Columbus, Magellan, Cortez, Ponce de Leon, Cabot, and DeSoto were all Catholic explorers. Long before the first permamnent Protestant English colony was established at Jamestown, Spanish Catholics had already exlored the James River and said the Mass upstream. St Augustine was a thriving Catholic city long before Plymouth’s Pilgrim village was built. The New World has been majority Catholic since its discovery in 1492, and with the exceptions of Canada and the USA, remains so today.

    >”why do I have to know about the goings on in what is essentially the last remnants of the Roman Empire?”

    Probably because 1/6th of the world is Catholic. Only the Catholic Church has kept up with the world’s rate of innovation and offered consistent, well-developed ethical solutions for biotechnology, medicine, and other ethical dilemma’s of our day. While you may mean “remamnants of the Roman Empire” as a slur, is it not interesting that the Catholic Church is the only human institution to have lasted the past 2,000 years.

    God bless… +Timothy

    “I had no more idea of becoming a Catholic than of becoming a cannibal. I imagined that I was merely pointing out that justice should be done even to cannibals . . . [but] it is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it . . . ”
    {GK Chesterton, The Catholic Church and Conversion, NY: Macmillan, 1926, 59,62}

  2. Yummy! We Get To Eat Cake! « Rev. E. M. Camarena’s Blog Says:

    […] took the time to post an alternative view to my own opinion on the subject of Holy Indulgences now being sold by the Roman church. Barring something unexpected (notice my cop-out loophole there?) I shall have a reply in the next […]

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