Monday, November 30, 2009
Update on Salvation
One of the people who commented on my posting over at LA Moms Blog brought up the biblical Acts of the Apostles and the term simony. I have found it immensely clarifying and thought you might, too.
Simony is the ecclesiastical crime of paying for holy offices or positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus, who appears in the Acts of the Apostles 8:18-24. Simon Magus offers the disciples of Jesus, Peter and John payment so that anyone he would place his hands on would receive the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the origin of the term simony but it also extends to other forms of trafficking for money in "spiritual things". Simony was also one of the important issues during the Investiture Controversy.
The great Italian poet Dante Alighieri consigned simonists to the eighth circle of hell. In the above copy of a wood engraving by Gustave Dore, Dante visits Pope Nicholas III, who has been buried upside-down in the inferno for committing simony.
I love this stuff.