It is sad, in a way, that they are willing to part with large sums of money for
the privilege of entering a building to see its art. Latter-day Saints part
with 10%+ of their income for the privilege of entering temples to be sealed as
families for eternity. I think that is a much better investment.
money buys access. It seems like the Christ like thing to do, right?
GMDon't kid yourself. At the end of the day, there is no
difference. It's just packaging.
I seriously doubt that these people are making any pretense of "buying their
way into heaven," just as we hope no one would promote the same myth about
LDS tithing.These are patrons of the arts who love the cultural
richness that the Vatican represents. Some of them may not even be Catholic, but
perhaps want to help the Vatican preserve its cultural heritage. I'm LDS,
but I donated to the restoration fund for one of California'a historic
Franciscan missions. People who appreciate and can afford to support the
symphony, opera, theatre, museums, other cultural institutions, or colleges do
this all the time. In appreciation, those institutions give them special viewing
or visiting privileges. What's wrong with that? Why do so many
interesting stories about the beliefs, practices, or physical possessions of
various religious groups have to turn into opportunities to find fault or make
snotty remarks about those religions?