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Vatican's lines too long?
January 5, 2001 3:29 PM   Subscribe

Vatican's lines too long? The Pope has just closed the door to the bronze Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica for the next 25 years. I have heard of crowd control but give me a break, can the lines really be that bad?
posted by Brilliantcrank (11 comments total)

 
Closing the door wasn't an unscheduled event, this was a one-time thing and won't happen for the next 25 years. The Pope didn't just run inside all of a sudden :)
posted by pnevares at 3:42 PM on January 5, 2001


The lines can be pretty bad. I was there over the summer, and unfortunately landed on some type of youth week where literally hundreds of thousands of students, etc. were in town from around the world. Anyways, getting into the Vatican museum was about a 2 hour line I think (our tour guide managed to help us cut), while the line for the Holy Door was literally the longest line I have ever seen in my life. Picture one of those long long streets you just see that goes to the horizon, well standing on the street people lined up on, it was just people until the horizon. Not to mention it was like 100-110 degree weather at least. I'd say the line was probably about 5 hours minimum. We passed on it and ate ice cream.
posted by swank6 at 3:55 PM on January 5, 2001


swank6... but was is spiritual ice cream, or just vanilla?
posted by tj at 6:38 PM on January 5, 2001


Actually, now that you ask, they have the weirdest flavors over there. All kinds of different fruits, and weird things you wouldn't think of... I had a tiramisu - you know, the dessert... mmm
posted by swank6 at 8:47 PM on January 5, 2001


This was just a specific door... "The Holy Door" not all of the Basilica.

The specified purpose of this door was to forgive sins of indulgence.

I was at St. Peters about 7 years ago... it wasn't so bad then, but we went in the middle of the week in the early season of tourism.
posted by da5id at 10:03 PM on January 5, 2001


Hello. I did READ the article. I was making a joke.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 7:43 AM on January 6, 2001


Being raised in a conservative protestant church, the idea that you can save yourself some punishment by performing a specific task, especially relating to some essentially magical object is totally contrary to the ideals of Christianity. I've always thought the old middle-ages-era Catholic doctrine of "indulgence" was pretty silly, but I didn't realize it was still taken seriously centuries later.
posted by daveadams at 3:01 PM on January 6, 2001


My talisman can beat up your talisman.
posted by Optamystic at 11:38 PM on January 7, 2001


daveadams, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the whole basis of Christianity, drastically simplified, the fact that if you accept Christ as your saviour you're saved?

Raised as a Roman Catholic, the concept of a magical talisman seems pretty silly to me, too, but the religion's wraught with items and places that have divine power instilled in them. Bones of saints, Lourdes, there's lots of them.
posted by cCranium at 6:06 AM on January 8, 2001


daveadams, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the whole basis of Christianity, drastically simplified, the fact that if you accept Christ as your saviour you're saved?

Well, I meant "specific task" as something other than believing in and accepting Christ as a personal savior. So yes, you are right.

Here's the verse I'm thinking of (Ephesians 2:8-9): "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." In other words, you can be saved by trusting in Christ, but not by performing tasks.
posted by daveadams at 7:37 AM on January 8, 2001


Honestly, I don't know much about the protestant religions, but Catholicism is still very much entrenched in the Old Testament.

My basic impression is that they're saying something akin to: Yeah, yeah, he came he died, we're all thankful, and oh yes, he's most definetely our saviour, no doubt about that, but there's still all this good stuff in these other books.

I think a lot of it, the objects with miraculous powers, comes from the dark ages. Religion was power back then, far more so than now, and most of the people who represented the religion through much of that time were slimier than any of today's politicians.

Unfortunately, the Church really hates it when they're wrong, so despite a progression of beliefs and the fact that many parts of Catholicism were invented by people looking for more power, these artifacts have to stay, well, magical.

Catholicism has a massive history, and making any kind of decision with that kind of baggage is extremely difficult. They can't just say "All right, you got us. We were bullshittin' you, 'cause Bishop Martin way back in 713 wanted an extra consort and a few heads of cattle from his parisheners."

The Church as an entity is far more archaic and out of date than any of Its practitioners, including the priests, bishops and archbishops I've had the good fortune of talking to.

But then, that'll be the case with pretty much any large entity.
posted by cCranium at 8:33 AM on January 8, 2001


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