I suppose my title for this had to do with Nicholas Blincoe's article in the Guardian UK.
Don't get medieval on me, Holy Father
"Pope Benedict's decision to reach out to the ultra-conservative Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has caused consternation in Israel, where They are asking why the Pope would want to rehabilitate a cult of Holocaust revisionists. The controversy will almost certainly set back the chances any deal on the status of Catholicism within Israel – a deal affecting the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinian Catholics and a vast property portfolio in Israel and occupied Palestine.
This scandal affects me intimately. I have a home in Bethlehem, where my Palestinian Catholic wife is the Director of the save the city campaign, Open Bethlehem. Ten years ago, the Israelis razed one of Bethlehem's two forests to build the settlement of Har Homa. The last remaining forest is the property of the church. As the Israelis build an eighteen foot concrete wall around its circumference, our nature treks and family picnics have become a memory. So it is understandable if I am more concerned with the workings of the Pope's mind than most Anglicans. But I also lean towards the pro-Catholic wing of my church. I want to see the church reunited. The question is, what kind of church? The Pope's decision to reach out to SSPX is part of a wider reform programme. So what kind of a church do the Benedictine reforms envisage?"
A whole set of diplomatic soldiers have dominoed into the ground because of the recent Bishop Williamson scandal. Mr Blincoe is of course hoping for some political and religious relief for Catholics under Israeli occupation. And I, being green, was offended by the treating of forests in Isreal like Arabs. (sarcasm)
The thing that really put a bug up my butt was the NYT times article below about the resurrection of Indulgences for fun and profit in the R.C. Church. Of course I am all for the Latin Mass on a small scale as nostalgia for the old farts. Now I would imagine the indulgnce thing is on a small scale for the older Catholics as well.
For Catholics, a Door to Absolution Is Reopened
"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.
The fact that many Catholics under 50 have never sought one, and never heard of indulgences except in high school European history (Martin Luther denounced the selling of them in 1517 while igniting the Protestant Reformation), simply makes their reintroduction more urgent among church leaders bent on restoring fading traditions of penance in what they see as a self-satisfied world.
Why are we bringing it back?” asked Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn, who has embraced the move. “Because there is sin in the world.” "
If you have to go to confession to qualify for an indulgence, what was confession good for? Let us not get back into the semantics that caused centuries of bloodshed after the start of the Reformation. (But) How many times does Jesus have to die to save you etc??? How many indulgenges does it take to get into that heaven thingy?
Indulgences and other Relevant Fees
"I also remember being told by the nuns that civil marriage doesn’t count in the eyes of the Church. The eyes of God is always another matter.
Fast forward two or three decades. I want to get married. I don’t have any religious affiliation. We both were raised in the R.C. church and we want to do the R.C. marriage thing. It seemed like the right thing to do.
Bad idea. People with limited options only have limited prospects.
Then you go to the local rectory and the local priest, well passed retirement age, gives us the long spiel about how my wife’s previous civil marriage and civil divorce were not recognized by the church. Okay.
Next. The clerics in the Vatican have to examine your request to be readmitted into holy mother church. Time, paperwork, research, official approval. Bottom line - six months minimum to wait and a $2,500 donation to the church. Clerks have to eat too. Excuse me. Could you repeat that?"
The thing that keeps me Lutheran Catholic are these little odd touches like the resurrecting of Indulgences.
What next Joe? Let's resurrect the boogie man saints, you know the ones decommissioned and discarded after that nasty Vatican council thingy. Among those saints decommissioned were a whole bunch of saints supposedly sent to their eternal reward for being dissed or done in by Jews. There is a back door to anti-Semitism and I believe that Bishop Williamson is emblematic of that.
What next? Burning heretics at the stake your holiness? Rhetorical perhaps but this fool wants to know.