20 April 2010

The Anglican Church ... selling indulgences?

If there was one thing about the church of his day that really ticked off Martin Luther it was the sale of indulgences. For a price, you could reduce your time spent in purgatory. It was apparently in reaction to the indulgence-peddling friar Johann Tetzel that Luther wrote his "Ninety-Five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences" and triggered the Reformation.

So has the Anglican Church revised indulgence-selling in a new form? It is inviting corporations to sponsor its national convention, offering everything from corporate logos on documents to a showcase booth at the convention. As other sources of revenue dry up, the fastest-declining Christian denomination in the country has appealed to Mammon for salvation. It may be harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, but for $30,000 he can enjoy a private luncheon with Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church. And that must at least be close to the Kingdom.

I wonder if Luther could have done 95 theses on the power and efficacy of corporate sponsorship.

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