Friday, February 13, 2009

On Darwin's birthday, 4 in 10 believe in evolution

This is tragic for a country that has any hope of being a world leader in the 21st century.....

Gallup poll shows that 39% of people in the U.S. believe in the theory of evolution. Other graphs on the page show that level of education is correlated with a belief in evolution (belief drops to 24% among frequent church attenders), and 44% of people don't know which scientific theory Charles Darwin is associated with.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Indulgences Making A Comeback!

Are there people out there really believing this line of.....I want to say "horseshit", but will instead say "baloney".....

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.

According to church teaching, even after sinners are absolved in the confessional and say their Our Fathers or Hail Marys as penance, they still face punishment after death, in Purgatory, before they can enter heaven. In exchange for certain prayers, devotions or pilgrimages in special years, a Catholic can receive an indulgence, which reduces or erases that punishment instantly, with no formal ceremony or sacrament.

There are partial indulgences, which reduce purgatorial time by a certain number of days or years, and plenary indulgences, which eliminate all of it, until another sin is committed. You can get one for yourself, or for someone who is dead. You cannot buy one — the church outlawed the sale of indulgences in 1567 — but charitable contributions, combined with other acts, can help you earn one. There is a limit of one plenary indulgence per sinner per day.