i will get down on my knees...and i will pray...as you probably already know, i have a big, honkin' vendetta against the catholic church and organised religion in general, mainly cos they're all a pack of hypocrites and exist solely to fatten their own wallets. while i've ranted about it fairly extensively on this here site, and even MORE before this site was even a twinkle in my eye, there is one point i have left unranted (okay...well at least unWRITTEN) about, and figure if i AM going to commit it to print, i may's well bounce it off the church officials themselves and see what THEY have to say about it.

sure it's pretty, but is it worth $20?now, before i tell you what IT is, let me explain why i wrote to who i wrote to. i decided to write to the archdiocese of new york, not cos i'm so stupid as to think new york is the centre of the universe, but rather because i LIVE in new york, and as i figured the pope and his various vatican underlings likely do not answer emails from enquiring catholics, and all i really want is a simple explanation, cardinal egan and HIS minions would suffice.
and now for the issue : SALE OF INDULGENCES (click it for the specifics if you ain't too sure what i mean by this)...and why it still exists, legally, to this very day. this issue has been annoying me for years and someone is now going to put it to rest for me, or at least attempt to and amuse the hell out of/piss me off even more. honestly, i'm not even sure they're going to answer this letter, but if they do, you'll be the first to know. till then, this is what the archdiocese found in THEIR inbox...

RE : an age-old question

i have only been living within the confines of the archdiocese for a short time, but i would like to ask a favour of you if you don't mind. unlike many letters i'm sure you receive every day, this one's not requesting money or physical aid of any kind...all i ask of you is to answer a question that's been bugging me for about as long as i've been catholic (pretty much forever) WHY is the practice of selling indulgences still in existence? at one time, it was strictly prohibited under penalty of excommunication, but now it seems every catholic church in the world does it. we're told we need to pray for the souls of our loved ones if we ever want them to get out of purgatory and into heaven, but in order to have a mass said in their name, we need to shell out anywhere from $10 to $20 PER MASS. AND while this is referred to as an "offering", it looks a whole heckuva lot more like a FEE to me, as they always make it pretty clear if you insinuate you haven't the cash...no money, no mass. not to point fingers, but my parish makes quitea pretty penny selling masses to old shawlies under the pretense of granting admission to the garden of paradise to their late husbands, parents, and children by way of mass offerings. while i'm not aware of any way you can buy your OWN guaranteed spot in heaven, even doing it for others seems just the slightest bit dodgy to me.i just have to ask, if the sale of masses ISN'T actually the veiled sale of indulgences, then what is it? and if it IS, this is where my confusion comes in. i just don't understand. is this practice only wrong when INDIVIDUALS do it, but perfectly acceptable on an institutional level? or is it okay now for EVERYONE to do it? cos if it is, i wouldn't mind doing it myself...i could always use a few extra bucks.

oh, yeah, and one more thing...how many masses = a ticket to heaven? or does it depend on the person? hmm...just wondering. anyway, thanks for your time, and thankyou in advance for your answer.

cain the magnificent