CCC 1498 indulgences.


**#1498 - “Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory.” **


**Acts 13:38 - Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Ephesians 1:7 - In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:14 - In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:**


John 15

7 **If **you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.


Since indulgences flow out of the merits of Christ, your criticism appears wide of the mark.

I think that the concept of indulgences is unwieldy and unnecessary at best and blasphemously heretical at worst. But you have to do more to show this than simply quote verses about forgiveness coming through Christ, which is not the question at stake.

Rather, the problem is with the concept of temporal punishment seen as some kind of legal debt in the first place, and in the second place with the notion that the Church’s power of the keys allows it to decide how the merits of Christ and the saints are to be applied to this debt of temporal punishment.



If indulgences simply amount to asking God to forgive us or others, then they should not be controversial. But clearly they are more than that.



What do you say they are?



Isn’t the traditional definition that they are an application of the treasury of merits earned by Christ and the saints to the temporal punishment incurred by a repentant believer, alive or dead?

I recognize that modern Catholic theology puts this in less legalistic/account-book terms, and that’s a vast improvement. But I have not heard that indulgences have been redefined as simply a form of intercession. I would be interested in seeing where such a redefinition can be found. It would have made Luther very happy, since this is one of his specific criticisms in the 95 Theses!




**Acts 13:38 - Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:

Ephesians 1:7 - In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:14 - In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:**So, according to your infallible interpretation of scripture, you don’t see the express ministry of the Church in binding and loosing huh.

Matthew 16:19: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

THAT is where the contradiction to scripture is Simon.


Fair enough, maybe I need to first better understand indulgence and their appplications. My understanding has long been that they are a meritorious purchase toward redemption of our sins, and that this was something controlled by the church, therefore I failed to understand how they flow from the merits of Christ. I am open to learning.



They are not a meriterious purchase of the redemption of our sins.

Here let me explain it in normal language instead of churchy language. It might not be as precise so forgive me for that but maybe it will make it more understandable.

Lets take the sexual sin of fornication. Lets say I have had a girlfriend and we end up doing this sin…

I repent and am forgiven and then later on get married with another lady and we have a good marriage.
Then I see my old girlfriend at the mall and I think of the “good times” we had… My temptation and desire to return to that sin is my attachment to that sin.

I still desire that old sin yet I am forgiven because I have repented and I do not truly desire or will repeat it.
In heaven will I still be tempted and feel that attachment to sin, or if I spend time praying and releasing my attachment will I not?

My indulgences are the release of my attachment to that sin which is helped by the prayers of others and by my prayers.

Does that make sense?

In Christ


You mean this?

"An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God’s justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church** in the exercise of the power of the keys**, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive."

Thats what I mean, the Church has been given the power and it also has the invitation to ask whatever it will…and it will be done.

7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.


And they are achieved by???


God’s Grace, we ask for Him to change us. We can do nothing ourselves.

In Christ


Great! I can copy/paste again.,

"…indulgences presuppose the Sacrament of Penance, the penitent, after receiving sacramental absolution from the guilt of sin, is afterwards freed from the temporal penalty by the indulgence. In other words, sin is fully pardoned, i.e. its effects entirely obliterated, only when complete reparation, and consequently release from penalty as well as from guilt, has been made. "


Well hey… you bring the attack and I bring the refutation.

Why didn’t you actually respond to my point that is supported by the Word of God? That’s where the real discussion is. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s not my fault that you present your interpretations as if they are the only ones possible when I just showed you that that is not the case and that in fact contradicts the scriptures I offered. :shrug:




Presupposes the Sacrement of Penance? is this an outward deed? or a changed heart and mind.


Good discussion. Scylla speaks of an indulgence as the removal of attachment to sin. I don’t have a problem with that. But here’s my question: why then is the absence of all attachment to sin one of the conditions of a plenary indulgence? It sounds as if the freedom from attachment to sin is a prior existing condition and the indulgence follows. In other words, traditional indulgence theology seems to presuppose a legal “temporal” punishment for sin that is distinct from (though connected to) the attachment for sin of which scylla speaks. And that is one of the things Protestants find objectionable. I have no problem with “temporal punishment” if it is understood purely in terms of remaining attachment to sin and the suffering brought by this (that is why I believe in some form of Purgatory). But indulgence theology seems to presuppose a legal penalty over and above the simple persistence of attachment to sin.

As for Leatherman’s citation of John 15:7, I do not believe that this refers to some kind of official Church power to decide matters of temporal punishment.

Here’s an example: we would all agree, I presume, that the particular set of indulgences offered on condition of financial payment in 1517 in order to build St. Peter’s and pay Albert of Brandenburg’s annates were corrupt. Was this an example of the Church asking God for whatever it wanted and God granting it? I cannot accept this. John 15:7 clearly puts a condition on the promise: if you abide in me and my words abide in you. That implies that the person praying is asking for something perfectly in accord with God’s will.



Can you have a changed heart and mind with no outward deeds?

The sacrament of penance is confession to a catholic priest.
If one does not personally feel like confessing can they really have a changed heart and mind? I don’t know. :shrug:


if we’re bold enough to approach Christ’s mercy to be forgiven, should we not do it his way? confession
if we’re bold enough to beg the remission of our temporal punishment, should we not do it his way? indulgences

The Church, in granting indulgences, extends the mercy of Christ out to the faithful. Christ already grants indulgences, in the sense of already remitting our temporal punishment outside of our seeking a defined indulgence. for example, an act of charity might result in the compassion of Christ remitting some temporal punishment. that person could also seek an indulgence, and then too, Christ is faithful to His promises and remits. but we can never know when exactly Christ might remit punishment or to what degree. if we knew our sins and the severity, and i mean really knew them, we’d be on the floor begging forgiveness, and if we knew the conditions of purgatory, again we’d be begging for that to be taken away in some fashion.
it has been my experience, in my own faith life, that while indulgences ought to be sought for the souls in purgatory, in reality i have no idea where to send this or that merit, thats why i give it all to Our Lady. and Our Lady, in her graciousness, takes what i give her, as weak as it is, and amplifies it, and then in her superabundant mercy flowing from Christ, takes care of me. because we know there is no limit to God’s mercy, and so making a heroic act of merit sacrifice (so to speak :slight_smile: ) is what God asks in reality. we lay down our life for our friends, and God rewards us when we act like His Son.

indulgences are an immense blessing from God. but God is not limited to remitting punishment only through an “official” sought out indulgence, especially when the faithful are so ignorant of the Church’s teaching on such. God WANTS to remit punishment and one way He does that is through indulgences. it is like confession, we know we are forgiven. in indulgences, we know we receive remission of temporal punishment.
to hope we will receive remission otherwise perhaps might be presumptuous especially when Christ already instituted a Church with the keys to heaven. it must be thought deeply about, His Words “WHATEVER you bind on earth is bound in heaven and WHATEVER you loose on earth is *loosed in heaven” *
Jesus said whatever, this is not a limiting word, He truly meant it.

besides, is not the Church guided by the Holy Spirit? where do we think indulgences came from, the mind of a human being? the Catholic Church makes too bold of claims. so bold in fact that, if the Church is seeking membership and what not, i dont think saying “we can not err on matters of faith and morals” is a very good idea.
the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, and Christ, through Him, gives us the grace of indulgences as a means to approach His mercy. we’re men and women, God makes it simple. i do not think it is difficult to believe that God would want to make it easy for us to come to Him.

“I will be with you always”
“Whoever hears you hears me, whoever rejects you rejects me”
“When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you to all truth”

may God Bless you

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