Papal Blessings for Sale?
I’m currently reading a good book about Roman Catholicism that I anticipate reviewing in a few days. The book mentions that Catholics are able to purchase blessings from the pope. But first we need to take a few steps back. The Catholic church teaches that at the moment of their ordination, its priests are endowed with amazing powers such as the alleged ability to change ordinary bread and wine into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ and to be able to offer the Jesus host as a sacrifice for sins, to forgive sins in the confessional, and to bestow powerful blessings on persons and objects. Catholics believe a priest’s blessing can ward off evil and induce material and spiritual advantages. Catholics regularly come to their priests for blessings. Naturally, a bishop’s personal blessing is deemed to be superior to a priest’s blessing, and a blessing from the pope, the supposed “Vicar of Christ,” well, that is the ultimate. Many Catholics would love to have a “genuine” papal apostolic blessing, but most will obviously never be able to travel to the Vatican. But other options are available, for a price of course. For more on the sale of papal blessings, let’s refer to the passage from “Tradition or Truth” by Vince Wall, p. 72:
“Papal Blessings are decorated parchments with a photo of the current Pope and the text indicates a particular blessing or Divine favour granted to the purchaser* (see photo above, dollar signs are compliments of moi). Once a purchaser paid for the Papal Blessing, the parchment would be delivered to the Vatican where it would be (…blessed by the pope en masse with other objects and…) signed by an official (verifying its “authenticity”) and then the “blessing” would be sent back to the purchaser in the country from which they came. Papal Blessings can still be purchased today as seen at”… http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/institutions_connected/elem_apost/documents/rc_elemosineria_doc_20130218_benedizioni_en.html
Occasions for papal apostolic blessings listed on the Vatican website include:
1. Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation
3. Priestly Ordination
4. Religious Profession
5. Secular Consecration
6. Ordinations of Permanent Deacons
7. Marriage Anniversaries (10, 25, 40, 50 , 60 years), Priestly Ordination, Religious Profession
8. Birthdays (18, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100)
9. Catholic individuals or families (with name and surname of the spouses united in a religious marriage).
According to the website, the cost of a papal blessing ranges from 13-25 euros ($16-$31 U.S. dollars). International shipping must also be added with the cost ranging from 18-30 euros ($22-$37 U.S. dollars).
Catholics are conditioned to accept this type of religious commerce and see nothing wrong with it. I wonder what ecumenical evangelicals would think about it?
*The particular papal apostolic blessing featured in the photo invokes the “continued protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
Most People Are Good?
In my drive into work yesterday morning, one of the DJs on the radio station I was listening to mentioned that the #1 country song in the country is currently “Most People Are Good” by Luke Bryan. Take a listen below. The wisdom of the world has nothing to do with the wisdom of God. God’s Word says no one is good and that we all deserve eternal punishment because of our sin, but that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16. People absolutely love this wide-is-the-way song, which claims that “most mamas ought to qualify for sainthood.” I love mothers, but no one qualifies for Heaven. Bryan pontificates that “you love who you love, ain’t nothing to be ashamed of” and several other counter-Biblical notions. It’s no mistake that this song resonates strongly with unbelievers and is the #1 song in the country.
Episode #5: “Honor Thy Father”
CBS, Broadcast 3/26/18
Last night, I caught up with the fifth episode of CBS’s sorry new comedy series, “Living Biblically,” via on-demand.
In this episode, Chip is caught off-guard when his father shows up unannounced from out-of-town. His father (Christopher McDonald who played Shooter McGavin in “Happy Gilmore”) is an obnoxious jerk who was an incredibly lousy parent. Chip’s always-present “god-squad” advisers, a priest and rabbi, challenge Chip to forgive his father for his trespasses, past and present, as difficult as that may be. Chip proceeds to forgive his father, which he says will free him from not making the same mistakes with his own soon-to-be-born child.
Once again, this show is all about the natural man’s understanding of “goodness” and nothing about the Gospel and finding forgiveness in Jesus Christ.