Our title today is taken from an article recently appearing in The Independent, an online British newspaper.
It seems Pope Francis has promised shorter sentences in purgatory for those Roman Catholics who commit minor sins (“venial” sins, as the church calls them). The shorter sentences are known as “indulgences.”
According to Catholic teaching, if people die without confessing their sins to a priest, they will go to either purgatory (for minor or “venial” sins) or hell (for major or “mortal” sins). Hell is permanent. Purgatory is temporary.
Purgatory is sort of a “way station” where you get “cleansed” of your venial sins, thus becoming pure enough to enter heaven.
So what’s the catch for Catholics? How can they take advantage of the pope’s offer?
They just have to follow the pope on his Twitter account as he travels to Brazil to celebrate World Youth Day this week. Or they could follow him on television or radio. That would also qualify for reduced sentences in purgatory.
I grew up a Roman Catholic. Though I’m no longer Catholic, I have the greatest respect for followers of the pope, and for followers of other religious and spiritual traditions. As my spirit guides have often said, “All paths lead home.”
But this “indulgence” idea is something out of the Middle Ages—literally. Indulgences were part of what rebel priest Martin Luther condemned as the “rottenness” of the Roman Catholic Church in the 1500s.
Those of you who’ve been following so-called “new age” spirituality know this is a time of heightening consciousness. It’s a time of remembering who we are and why we are here on the planet today. In my and my spirit guides’ opinion, this is not the time to be subjecting ourselves to the whims and “authority” of anyone outside ourselves. That includes all institutions and individuals.
Here’s a news video from the Wall Street Journal explaining the details of Pope Francis’ offer. As with many “free” offers, there are conditions attached to this one.
What are your thoughts about indulgences? Do you think some spiritual traditions exercise too much control over their followers? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.
What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.
About John Cali
John Cali is a writer, blogger, and channel for a group of spirit guides. His next book is Real Answers to Life’s Pesky Questions: Conversations With Spirit, Book 1. John lives in northwestern Wyoming.