Remember learning about indulgences back in the day, those monetary atonements for sin denounced by Martin Luther in 1517? They're baaaaack.
According to a New York Times article, the Catholic Church is looking to bring back the practice of indulgences for the first time since the 1960s. Pope John Paul II liked the idea of reviving indulgences and in 2000 authorized bishops to offer them, but Pope Benedict loves the idea; according to the New York Times, Pope Benedict has made plenary indulgences a part of church anniversary celebrations nine times in the last three years.
For non-religious folks, the idea is a bit counterproductive--allowing churchgoers to essentially purchase a place in heaven, or shorten their time in purgatory--but hey, we're in a recession, right?