Monday, 22 July 2013

OMG! Seven years off Purgatory for tweeting the Pope is like soo cool

If there's one thing that got Martin Luther going it was "indulgences".   

A leading mover in the 16th century Protestant Reformation, Luther took exception to the idea of the Catholic Church taking cash, land, or favours from contributing Christians in exchange for a cushier life in the hereafter.  

Luther had his faults – being a vicous anti-semite was one – but you have to say he was principled in his way, and took a hard line on corruption and shysterism.   Principled, as opposed to promiscuous –  the main urge for Henry VIII's later expedient conversion to the reformed church.

Don't worry, we haven't gone all Holy Joe here on Gombeen Nation.   It's just that a reader brought attention to the story below, which tells of the Catholic Church getting all down and with it with the kids (as opposed to going down on the kids, please note).  

Yes, it seems that subscribing to Pope Frannie's Twitter account will shave a sweaty seven years off your time in Purgatory, should you end up there when you slip off the mortal coil.  

That's a hell of a deal, isn't it?  

And let them scoff.  When you're hopping on the heavenly escalator seven years before your fellow Purgatorians you can – in the spirit of true Christian charity – thumb your nose at them as they continue to sizzle on the subterranean griddle.

Hurry though, the offer won't last for all eternity.  

Vatican offers 'time off purgatory' to followers of Pope Francis tweets

Papal court handling pardons for sins says contrite Catholics may win 'indulgences' by following World Youth Day on Twitter
Pope Francis, at Vatican
In its latest attempt to keep up with the times the Vatican has married one of its oldest traditions to the world of social media by offering "indulgences" to followers of Pope Francis' tweets.
The church's granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.
The remissions got a bad name in the Middle Ages because unscrupulous churchmen sold them for large sums of money. But now indulgences are being applied to the 21st century.
But a senior Vatican official warned web-surfing Catholics that indulgences still required a dose of old-fashioned faith, and that paradise was not just a few mouse clicks away.
"You can't obtain indulgences like getting a coffee from a vending machine," Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the pontifical council for social communication, told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
Indulgences these days are granted to those who carry out certain tasks – such as climbing the Sacred Steps, in Rome (reportedly brought from Pontius Pilate's house after Jesus scaled them before his crucifixion), a feat that earns believers seven years off purgatory.
But attendance at events such as the Catholic World Youth Day, in Rio de Janeiro, a week-long event starting on 22 July, can also win an indulgence.
Mindful of the faithful who cannot afford to fly to Brazil, the Vatican's sacred apostolic penitentiary, a court which handles the forgiveness of sins, has also extended the privilege to those following the "rites and pious exercises" of the event on television, radio and through social media.
"That includes following Twitter," said a source at the penitentiary, referring to Pope Francis' Twitter account, which has gathered seven million followers. "But you must be following the events live. It is not as if you can get an indulgence by chatting on theinternet."
In its decree, the penitentiary said that getting an indulgence would hinge on the beneficiary having previously confessed and being "truly penitent and contrite".
Praying while following events in Rio online would need to be carried out with "requisite devotion", it suggested.
Apart from the papal Twitter account, the Vatican has launched an online news portal supported by an app, a Facebook page, and it plans to use the online social networking site Pinterest.
"What really counts is that the tweets the Pope sends from Brazil or the photos of the Catholic World Youth Day that go up on Pinterest produce authentic spiritual fruit in the hearts of everyone," said Celli.


DC3 said...

Eh thought that was a joke there for a second GM...I think it's the Indulgence effect, which has all the associated connotations of inquisitions, pointless torture and delusional hubris. If they just used the vernacular and called it a loyalty card scheme, it would get all the trendies thinking that their must be a God after all.

The Vatican is almost as surreal as Ireland (an impossibility I know, as Ireland is the epicentre of all things SURREAL). Eye of a needle and all that, and they languishing in opulence and luxury...Then having the cheek to plead poverty and a humble fisherman's lineage when push comes to shove.

The Gombeen Man said...

"If they just used the vernacular and called it a loyalty card scheme..."

Ha ha – good one. Yes, there's more than a smidgen of hypocrisy what with all the wealth and eyes of needles and the rest. Maybe it's the hypocrisy that so many Irish people have identified with over the decades?

DC3 said...

Yes hypocrisy has a lot to do with it, but equally it's all about the true Irish nature; a preoccupation with the negative (the Craic is purely crude reverse psychology).

I do think down deep, each and every Irish individual is afraid of his/her own culture. Although the Irish hegemony encourages shying away from the edge, the culture also encourages a devouring of it's individual parts, for the betterment of an abstract concept (It's the pagan tradition in both entities). Very much like the Roman tradition which depends on a hierarchical power and control structure...The infuriating part about Ireland is, that it successfully continuously convinces individuals that this is not the case. So much so, that the individual parts do most of the work for the elite.

Plenaryboy said...

I first came across Plenary and Partial Indulgences at the gates to St Michael's Church in my home town when I was 12. The annual Parish Retreat saw the locals streaming through the gates paying up from their limited resources for a few years remission from the discomfort of Purgatory and you know, it struck me, even at that age that there was something a little fishy about being able to buy yourself a sort of Get out of Jail early card. I'm almost ashamed to say that it took another four years for me to realise that the church was a very successful enterprise with a flawless business model following the performance I witnessed at mass the sunday after Easter. In place of the sermon we were treated to a street by street, house by house account of exactly how much everyone had given in the previous week's Easter collection. I had great hopes for us, the Leaving Cert of 72, being the first wave of a new thinking class and I had little doubt that the church's days were numbered. I was wrong of course and it's one of the reasons I haven't lived in Ireland now for almost thirty years. And while I live in a country with a solidly secular system I am still capable of being incensed by this God-awful hoodwinkery. In-fucking-dulgences!!!! I had an argument some years back with a Christian work colleague about heaven. He told me that I wouldn't get in because I'd denied jesus in my life. I said that I had little choice other than to deny him as a fairytale, given the country that I'd grown up in and the bullshit I'd witnessed. I asked him if I were to bring in my Magnum 44 (it was around the time of Dirty Harry) and shoot the two of us at exactly the same time, would that mean we'd both end up standing together in the queue leading up to the pearly gates. He said we would and went on to say that he'd be let in and I'd be barred. The upshot of all this was, and I told him, that I felt that heaven wouldn't be heaven for him unless all his friends were there too and what with me being one of his friends - well you can see the dilemma it should have posed for him. Maybe I shouldn't have gone on to tell him that I didn't really want to go there anyway as I thought I'd be bored shitless there after a million years or so - I mean there's only so much golf you can play, or languages to learn or clouds to fluff up. Needless to say I haven't been getting xmas cards from him for quite some time now and still find it incredible that people who appear smart can be taken in by such unadulterated guff. Religion is a virus which has varying effects on people's minds. The clerics are the medicators, the snake oil salesmen with their fantastic offers. Plenary indulgences indeed!! I was thinking about a visit back to Ireland next year but fuck it. PB

Ella said...

Hi Everybody - this topic has caused much merriment in our household. Anyway... I asked himself if I went and murdered a couple of colleagues would I still be allowed into heaven (hypothetical of course, given I'm an atheist) - to be told that would be a mortal sin - another mortal sin would be not obeying himself (obviously on a roll with his superior knowledge of such matters!) - the let off is for venial sins only - you know that might change too, as the flock decreases. Is it news really, I mean catholics do what they like, then run along to fess up to the local pp, they are then absolved to do the same venial sins again and again...

Anonymous said...

I cannot ever understand why anyone under the age of 50 would believe this horsesh*t . In fact the whole church thing is a money racket run by drag queens. I think confession is like CIA waterboarding for beginners and has huge negative impacts.

sopranoboy said...

You know - just taking a second look at Pope Frannie - I'm beginning to wonder if Tony Soprano really died or just did a swicheroony

The Gombeen Man said...

Good spot, PB.

Anonymous said...

As an ordained minster of The Universal Life Church I usualy restrict my ministry to exorcisms and the spirtiul counseling of wayward young ladies.

Today however I'm going to break with that tradition and bless all commenters on this post with not seven, not ten, but fourteen... that's right folk's, fourteen years off purgatory! GM, Ella, PB and anon you guys are already in, now lets sit back and watch this baby generate comments and save souls.

Reverend SH

The Gombeen Man said...

Thanks for that Reverend SH.

14 years isn't bad at all.

Not sure if your special offer will get the attention it deserves as this post is little bit down the list, but hopefully some readers will pop in again.