Catholics given chance at shorter stay in Purgatory. Church renews practice that sparked Protestant Reformation

Some of the verbiage in the article is silly, but an important issue nonetheless.

That author is quite uninformed. There was no practice renewed here!

“Renewed enthusiasm”? Obviously the author has not read or even seen the latest, or any of the published Manual of Indulgences publications. The latest one, dated 2006, is over 150 pages!

Adding 3 more is hardly startling. Plus, these indulgences are consistent with ones already available for years, like going on specific pilgrimages.

What the author fails to realize is that an indulgence is a merit of grace from Christ through the Church for an act of charity. The actual merit of the indulgence is only determined by God, who as with everything else judges us by our hearts; which no human can do.

The author also fails to acknowledge that there are other conditions attached to the reception of a plenary (full) indulgence, one of qhich (complete detachment to any sin, including venial) makes it very hard to attain.

There is no pay associated with these, which also makes the comparison to Luther’s day ludicrous.

It just goes to show that being informed or intelligent in reporting on something is not a requirement these days.

I won’t even take the time to qualify an article that has been so poorly researched and holds so many errors. Nothing “came back”. Indulgences have been and continue to be a teaching of the Church and anyone interested in learning Church teachings should resource official documents. I would be embarrassed to have authored such nonsense…teachccd

I have no doubt that the newspaper will receive many letters of complaint from Catholic readers.

For any non-Catholics here who might not understand indulgences, they were originally assigned by the Church to certain prayers and devotions in lieu of public penance, hence the ‘time’ assigned to each. It has nothing to do with time in purgatory, nor am I aware that the modern Church teaches that time, now known to be a function of physical space, will even exist in purgatory.

Newspapers should assign articles regarding a specific religious denomination to reporters who are members of, or at least knowledgable of, the teachings and practices of said denomination.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit