Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lemme UP-Grade, UP-Grade ya

Today brings good news for Catholics both practicing and failed, as the church has announced the return of both partial and plenary indulgences to the official list of services offered.
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.
For those of you who unlike Matthew and I were raised outside the Catholic prison faith, indulgences are basically upgrades, first-class tickets on a non-stop flight to everlasting peace in the kingdom of god.

You see, while the Catholic Church can get you into heaven by listening to you confess your sins and telling you to rattle off a few Hail Marys -- prayer is the church's third most-popular form of currency behind only guilt and, well, currency -- they make no promises about arrival time. Dying without sin on your soul can get you to Heaven, sure, but you'll probably be spending a little time in purgatory, a boring, lifeless void. Think Cleveland without LeBron James and the Rock Hall.

But through this special offer, and for just a few extra prayers or pilgrimages, you too can ascend straight to heaven alongside the clergy who alone have the power to nudge Saint Peter in the ribs and say "Let this one through." Take heed, sinners.

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