"Credit cards only" at the Sanctuary of Caravaggio, in the province of Bergamo, Italy. A POS that allows devotees to turn on electric candles, book Masses and make donations to the church with credit card offerings. That must have seemed like a good idea to the Dean of the Sanctuary, that receive over two million of visitors every year.
Imagining the average church’s attendee, an elderly lady, headed to the votive LED candles. She takes two euro out of her purse and stops in front of the structure, looking confused. The device has electric candles, but it is not like the ones she already saw in other churches. Made of fake white marble, this one is equipped with a touchscreen monitor and a sign that says: "It works only with credit cards".
"What is this?" she whispers. She searches for the coin slot, without success. Surprised, she notices that the only way to light a candle is by swiping the credit card. A choice to keep up with the times and to avoid thefts, explained the Dean.
Our hypothetical lady goes away disconsolate, without making her offering. The electronic menu of the new machine is too complicated for her. More technological believers can use it, not only to light a three euro candle, but also to make donations to the church to help with the renovation works. Other than that, the screen displays the offerings price list for Masses: ten euro for the simple function, 15 to select the day in which to celebrate the Mass, 130 for a novena.
Are we living in an age in which the moral functioning or religion is slowly but certainly being replaced by a technologically imposed morality?
Related post: LED Religion
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I'm quite surprised that's not a Menorah sitting atop the screen!