One Hell of a Deal by John Cali

Pope Francis

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.

Related links:
Why Do We Need Forgiveness?
Fear, Death, and Immortality
Do You Know How Wise and Powerful You Are?
Have You Been Saved?


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.

10 Responses

  1. Barbara

    I think it was either “Destiny of Souls” or “Journey of Souls” by Michael Newton that told a story of the passing to spirit of a fire and brimstone type preacher. He was met on the “other side” by gruesome, scary faces and was terrified he’d gone to hell. It turned out to be his soul group wearing masks, they had a great sense of humour and this was their way of reminding him that he’d been entirely too serious in that lifetime.

    None of the many spiritual books I have read or my own experiences with Spirit have ever given the slightest hint that these man made teachings are remotely true. I am SO pleased to have left all that old dogma behind in this life time.


  2. Susan

    I am currently doing an “I Am that I Am” practice — and totally loving it! I am throwing a lot of old stuff into the fire, including all old religious beliefs (including the Catholic Church). How simple life can become! Thank you, John, as always…

    Love and blessings.

  3. Pam Maxwell

    I believe, ” I will put no other God’s before me.” I trust the God within me…..”

  4. jerry

    It fascinates me, John, how we let other people, who are no better than us, tell us what ‘God’ thinks of us, when they don’t know us from Adam. That thought alone, helped me walk away from religion. Smile.

    Most religions, not all, create a world around you of ‘heads I win, tail you lose’ and then the person believes that scenario and gets trapped in their own hell. Some people don’t even like to entertain the thought they can just walk away from it.

    For me, I just started to observe, from a point of detachment, what was going on in many areas of my religion at the time and then other religions and realized the controls being used.

    Needless to say, I walked away from it all…like I was taking my next breath…and have not looked back! I never loved my self so much before! Self love will never let you be controlled again by anything or anyone because this is truly God expressing!

    Love and hugs,
    Jerry 😉

    • John Cali

      That fascinates me too, Jerry — especially when I think back to all those years when many of us unquestioningly accepted all the “truths” foisted upon us. But I suppose that was part of our paths back then.

      Thanks so much for your articulate, powerful perspective on all this.

      Love, John

  5. Jeannie

    ah, my sinful self……….indulgences, purgatory, hell

    We make our own hell and we do a fine job of judging ourselves and we definitely don’t need help in that area. We judge ourselves too easily, we need to forgive ourselves more.
    I have never been a follower, always a questioner and the one thing my father said was the kingdom of heaven is inside you, you don’t need a church, a building , a minister or priest or anyone else to get you there. In a way he was a spiritual person and not a religious one. Many a time when I was young when a minister would come and talk down to my dad until my dad started quoting scripture back at him. He too was not a follower.

    My mother on the other hand believed in the devil and hell and she made us go to church but we had to go only till we were14 then my dad said we were old enough to make a choice to continue to do so or not to. None of us chose church.

    My son was taught manners, right from wrong and my ex and I decided he can chose his own path… church. He is a good man, responsible, caring and in his own way spiritual.

    My mother believed I am destined for hell because I never had him christened. Am I worried, no for I make my own heaven or hell if I desire it to be.

    The only spiritual guidance you need is inside you. Your instincts will lead you to where you need to be, follow your heart and all will be whatever you need it to be. My son has very good instincts.

    love and hugs

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Jeannie, for your wise and perceptive comments. I agree with you.

      However, having said that, I know there are others who agree with neither you nor me. But that’s okay too. As my spirit guides often say, we’re all gonna get home, no matter which path we follow.

      Love & hugs,

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