The Four Tenets of the OPI, Sydney House
Every member of our House is guided and bound in their actions by our
The First Tenet The
Granting of Perpetual Indulgences
The Second Tenet The Expiation of Stigmatic Guilt
The Third Tenet The
Promulgation of Universal Joy
The Fourth Tenet Public Manifestation through Habitual
First Tenet - The
Granting of Perpetural Indulgences
This is a two-fold concept:
- In early Catholic Church history,
the plan was to die and go to heaven. Because everyone was born with
sin, the theory was that no one could really get to heaven and so
everybody had to go to Hell. This upset people - especially Satan
who had to find room for everyone - so the Church invented Purgatory -
a kind of afterlife waiting room where you stayed until you had ‘done
time’ for your earthly sins.
Depending on how bad you were, depended on how long you stayed.
Sometimes your earthly sins were so horrible ("mortal sin"),
that you went straight to Hell and bypassed Purgatory altogether. Usually
though, people committed only basic, run-of-the-mill sins ("venial")
and so went to Purgatory to do time.
After a while, the Catholic Church decided that there needed to be some sort
of order to this, and so they decided that every sin should have a time length.
This was useful because then it was able to work out how to get people to
heaven quicker by inventing the Indulgence.
Therefore, each ‘good’ deed you did on Earth, you were rewarded with a certain
amount of days’ indulgence. Everyday good deeds included: going to Mass,
saying the Rosary, taking communion, confession.
Especially pious deeds, like becoming a monk or nun, gained lots of days
of indulgence (plenary).
The best indulgence (and certainly the most sought after) was the "Perpetual
Indulgence", which gave you instant access to Heaven without spending
any time at all in Purgatory.
Overtime time, corruption set in and Perpetual Indulgences became a form
The Catholic Church officially abandoned the belief in indulgences (and Purgatory)
some time ago, however the concept still lurks around in various forms.
English language being what it is, it allows us to play with words.
The "Order of Perpetual
Indulgence" is also a word play (pun) which we can use
to advantage. For example, we can bless someone - allowing them to indulge
perpetually in being of themselves, in their sexuality, in their
Second Tenet - The Expiation of Stigmatic Guilt
to atone for (sin or wrongdoing); make amends for. [C16<L
expiare, < pius dutiful]
By wearing the old and antiquated habits of the old/early Catholic Church,
the Sisters represent the old and antiquated habits of the old/early
of those habits - unfortunately still practised by many "Christians" these
days - is stigmatising homosexuality as being sinful and thereby making
people feel guilty for what is a natural expression for them. Our (satirical?)
purpose here is to take on the duty of the Catholic Church of saying
to everyone "Sorry for making you feel guilty all your life",
and thereby releasing that burden from the person.
The Third Tenet - The Promulgation of Universal Joy
"Promulgate" - 1. to put into effect (a law, decree, etc),
especially by formal proclamation.
2. to announce officially. 3 to make widespread [C16 < L promulgare
to bring to public knowledge]
Essentially, running around telling everyone that "joy" -
as a concept - is for all, not just the chosen few.
People often either have learnt from their background / upbringing,
or they simply forget, that no matter who you are you are entitled to
have joy in your life.
Rather than carrying around the weight of the world on your shoulders,
you are allowed to smile,
you are allowed to laugh.
The Fourth Tenet - Public Manifestation through Habitual
Simply getting out in public and being seen.
The work of the OPI is a missionary one, and cannot ever
be accomplished by sitting at home and talking about the world.
We must be out there, seen, and heard.
All the theories and earth-shattering revelation in the world cannot
be performed by staying at home and
hoping someone in need will come knocking on the door.
This is a vital part of being a member of the Order, and can be extremely
hard at times.
One represents the Order each and every moment whilst manifesting.
It is impossible to be inconspicuous, and whilst the demands are many,
it is essential that we maintain a visible presence in the community.
it is simply by "being there" - not performing
any special activity, but merely being seen -
that a powerful messages of support and awareness occurs.