Byzantines and Plenary indulgence

I often hear about the Pope offering plenary indulgences (eg. for the jubilee year), etc…

My question is primarily aimed at the Byzantine Catholics who reject purgatory as is traditionally taught in the west. What do these plenary indulgences mean to you?

Does the byzantine Catholic church accept indulgences but not purgatory? If so how do they understand indulgences?

Also is belief in indulgences dogma for the Catholic church?

God bless.

They are small things that can be used as penitential sacramentals…

Seriously, the concept of indulgences is explicitly western, but many of the practices are seen as penitential in the east anyway, like first visit to a new church…

I don’t worry about it terribly much… much of what would earn a PI, one should be making effort to do anyway:
[LIST]
*]Read scripture for half an hour a day
*]Pray the Rosary
*]Public akathyst
*]Visiting churches on pilgramage
*]frequent confession
*]firm resolution not to sin
[/LIST]

So rather than the vanity of attempting to formulate a contra-distinctive response to these venerable Roman practices, I make no argument with them.

We aren’t commanded to attempt them. We aren’t inclined to have to explain them. Being in communion with Rome, I am not anxious to worry about them.

If we did some or all of the above listed things because God is good and deserves such attention, that in and of itself is rewarding.

I fear on here we sometimes push the envelope too much on “what do/must you accept” sort of questions. Honestly, no matter what the most Latinac or Vostochnik commentator offers, there is no singular EC mind…

On some things to simply say “let us not argue” and leave some latitude for private opinion on non-essentials seems warranted. Certain polemicists seem to spend their nights wide-awake concearned about how exactly the Immaculate conception must be believed, or the “treasury of merit” or the filioque. In my experience, not 3 out of 100 who obsess about the filioque, for example, can really explain the controversy all that well beyond parroting a polemic. I confess to being one of the 97 others.

I am satisfied not to argue. If I get to heaven and am told “Hey, did you know you got a plenary indulgence right before you died by praying the rosary in a church?” I will say “Sweet!”

To A Simple Sinner - I’m with you. I’ve tired of trying to keep track of all these things. If it seems good I do it and let God straighten out the accounting. :thumbsup:

The problem is that the Western Church declares an anathema on those who reject some of the things you might se as “non-essential”.

The issue here is “reject”. As I read above, I see no rejection at all. Perhaps you might prefer another expression, or there may be certain qualifiers, certain philosophical understandings required to get there, etc., etc. But without rejection, you lead right into the 2 lung metaphor - which is a wonderful thing.

Indulgences are doctrine, not dogma…

Thank you. I don’t reject the laws of physics… (one wonders if I could just float away if I did!) …but I don’t know or understand a lot of them either. I am just a simple social sciences man.

Too often, I fear these “hot button issues” which are loaded with polemic potential are brought up with a goal of either getting us Eastern Catholics to [LIST]
*]come right out and reject a Latin teaching
*]come right out and offer the Latin teaching by the Latin books, chapter and verse
[/LIST]

The former option scores polemic points for those who would wish to turn around and say *“See, you know they are in error, and you are in communion with those in error!” *the latter begs for the same to turn around and say “See you are just Latins in Greek vestments!”

Alternately, great effort -which would please few - could be made to speak in learned theological terms to demonstrate how a synthesis in understanding can be achieved… This is the most satisfying possibility. But if we are to actually be honest, such an effort is a little above the paygrade of most of us here. And again, I have never seen such end debate anyway!

Invariably, it seems that the heart of the matter is 1) is Rome capable and competent to teach on such things and 2) all things being equal, the lack of a clearly recognized authority in interpreting Eastern Theology definatively and ending discussion makes much of this an excercise in who can make the most convincing argument for their own personal (often polemic) “take” on the issue.

I don’t mean to be persnickity here, but these sorts of debates sometimes remind me of “polemic trips down memory lane” where non-Greek Catholics or ex-Greek Catholics want to begin discussions on some of the issues in our tumultuous past. The end goal can only seem to be, at times to get us to say

[LIST]
*]Everything was peferectly fine
*]or “Boy you are right, we sure get treated like %%^&!” (Implicitly demonstrating we must be total fools who are just gluttons for punishment!)[/LIST]

So on these matters, I sometimes resolve to not have argument. Sometimes I just don’t presume to have debate, make argument or defend each “hot button” issue which often just seem like “backdoor” approaches to seweing doubt by circumnavigating the key issue - the Papacy.

If the Papacy as understood and taught by Rome is in error, than no defense of most of these “pet issues” of polemic is warranted or viable. If it is correct, none is needed.

Not according to the council of trent.

Which then actually begs the question of the legitmacy of the council, convened by the Pope of Rome, (cf. here)

I am not sure if there is an echo in here, or we are just on a race track moving in a circle.

Wow. Are you serious? You actually question the legitimacy of the council of Trent? I have heard some ridiculous things in my day but goodness gracious.

lol. Your funny.

He isnt questioning the council. Try clicking on the link he provided. That will answer your question too clearly for me to spill it out for you.

But my question was not whether you believe in indulgences, but what you believe about indulgences. If a byzantine catholic does not believe in latin purgatory, then what does an indulgence do? Sure it doesnt reduce your time in purgatory if you dont believe in it?

God bless.

He said that the fact that the Council of trent proposes indulgences as a dogma brings the legitimacy of the council into question.

I’m not an expert in Eastern theology, but Mark of Ephesus explained the Eastern understanding of purgatory:

But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones over which they have not repented at all, or greater ones for which - even though they have repented over them - they did not undertake to show fruits of repentance: such souls, we believe, must be cleansed from this kind of sins but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place.

But the idea of fire or a place is not part of Catholic dogma (though it is popular imagery).

Normally, doing penance is how we show the fruits of repentance. Indulgences were practiced in the early Church by lessening a prescribed penance. But, if those “left-over fruits” are rectified after death, the indulgence must extend to the realm too.

Whoa-ho-ho, Nelly! Back the horse up.

What was actually said:

Which then actually begs the question of the legitmacy of the council, convened by the Pope of Rome, (cf. here)

I am not sure if there is an echo in here, or we are just on a race track moving in a circle.

What he said (he being me) is that your proposition begs the question was the council valid? Certainly a valid council could not have such invalid or errant fruit, could it?

I don’t question it (or at least can say my questions have been satisfactorily answered). I point out that if you are sincere in wanting to “get down to the bottom of this thing” go on a fact finding mission to examine where those teachings came from.

Rather than sit underneath the apple tree and scorn or question, (or scorningly question!) each piece of fruit that falls therefrom, do yourself a favor and examine the tree itself. If it is a bad tree, all the fruit will be bad and it should be chopped down. Far easier to do that, than go through my fridge and look at each apple.

I recall he said aslo (again, he being me):

If the Papacy as understood and taught by Rome is in error, than no defense of most of these “pet issues” of polemic is warranted or viable. If it is correct, none is needed.

So is there legitimate interest and intent in looking at these questions, or mostly more polemic, rhetorical questions to be had?

Explaining our faith for novelty or debate doesn’t edify anyone here.

It seems to me that some Roman Catholics are intent on charging their Byzantine Catholic brothers and sisters with some kind of heresy or dissent from Catholic teaching.

I have seen threads on Saint Gregory Palamas, Scripture, Ecumenical Councils, Indulgences, the Filioque and purgatory. Byzantine Catholics have different shades of understanding of many of these issues from Roman Catholics. But we have the same faith, even if expressed in different terms and with different emphasis. I find that my answers often do not satisfy some, who are intent on wanting to hear us express things exactly in Latin terms.

I am cool with people questioning us, and challenging us. But I cannot help but feel that there is an agenda sometimes against Byzantine Catholicism by some.

Not just Byzantine Catholics, but all Eastern Catholics…:frowning:

How can anyone who doesn’t believe in indulgences receive indulgences from doing the acts required for them? From my recent reading of indulgences one of the requirements for receiving an indulgence is to have the intent of receiving an indulgence from an act or prayer done. I would have to go look it up but maybe that was only required for plenary not partial indulgences.

There is the normal spiritual benefit of indulgenced acts and prayers but a partial indulgence is taught to give double the benefit normally received from it coming from the treasury of the saints. And then a plenary indulgence gives complete whatever you want to call it of the consequences of all repented sin. Forgive my brain lag here. I have had less than 4 hours sleep and no coffee yet. But a plenary indulgence REQUIRES no current attachment to sin, confession, communion and prayers for the intentions of the Pope and the intent to receive the indulgence. It seems people do not just accidentally happen upon partial and plenary indulgences.

FTR I am coming from an Orthodox background having recently come into the Catholic Church. But I just do not see why I would choose to not avail myself of indulgences if the Church does offer them to us. I am trying to figure out where I stand on all of this. I came into the Church because I believe fully in the Pope’s authority. I am in the Byzantine rite because that is where I was required to enter the Church. And I do love the traditions of the East. However I am not interested in keeping myself on a narrow Eastern only view and approach to things. If I believe in the authority of the Pope and the validity of all Western doctrine and dogma I am not sure why I would choose to not believe it, unless required to, and dismiss it as not part of my tradition. If indulgences are true and available why would I not avail myself of them just because I am in an Eastern rite jurisdiction…or Church as someone on here seemed to be ranting about the other day? I mean do only Western rite Catholics go to Purgatory?

Do Eastern Catholics believe in purgatory?:confused:

I don’t know. You tell me. Either way though does the belief or lack of belief in something making it real or not real? If Eastern Catholics have no clearly defined belief in purgatory does that make purgatory not real? Or just not real for them? I remember it being rather frustrating as an Orthodox Christian to have my priest unable to explain to me WHY we prayed for the dead. His explanation sounded very much like purgatory to me but he emphatically denied belief in purgatory.

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