Does donating money to the church get you indulgences?


#1

Can someone help me with this? I understand that there may have been some corruption at one point in the church because of this. However, if the money is going to administrative needs of the church (religious education, heat/electical bills, replacing vestments, etc.), it is consider “good works”, since you are helping spread the news about Jesus Christ in the end by keeping the church running? Also, I would imagine if this was the case, that the amount a person could afford to give would not really matter, just the act of giving would be the “good work”. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Brian


#2

[quote=BrianK]Can someone help me with this? I understand that there may have been some corruption at one point in the church because of this. However, if the money is going to administrative needs of the church (religious education, heat/electical bills, replacing vestments, etc.), it is consider “good works”, since you are helping spread the news about Jesus Christ in the end by keeping the church running? Also, I would imagine if this was the case, that the amount a person could afford to give would not really matter, just the act of giving would be the “good work”. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Brian
[/quote]

…not totally sure, i know that alms to the poor helps with the remission of temporal responsibility due to sin… maybe the “on staff” priest, or staff apologist can answer that… hmm… good question…
Peace:thumbsup:


#3

[quote=BrianK]Can someone help me with this? I understand that there may have been some corruption at one point in the church because of this. However, if the money is going to administrative needs of the church (religious education, heat/electical bills, replacing vestments, etc.), it is consider “good works”, since you are helping spread the news about Jesus Christ in the end by keeping the church running? Also, I would imagine if this was the case, that the amount a person could afford to give would not really matter, just the act of giving would be the “good work”. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Brian
[/quote]

This is essentially correct, the widow’s mite is a good illustration of your point. I am not aware of any indulgence directly associated with monetary support of the Church at this time, however.


#4

Myth 1: A person can buy his way out of hell with indulgences.

This is a common misunderstanding, one that-anti-Catholic commentators take advantage of, relying on the ignorance of both Catholics and non-Catholics. But the charge is without foundation. Since indulgences remit only temporal penalties, they cannot remit the eternal penalty of hell. Once a person is in hell, no amount of indulgences will ever change that fact. The only way to avoid hell is by appealing to God’s eternal mercy while still alive. After death, one’s eternal fate is set (Heb. 9:27).

Myth 2: A person can buy indulgences for sins not yet committed.

The Church has always taught that indulgences do not apply to sins not yet committed. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes, “[An indulgence] is not a permission to commit sin, nor a pardon of future sin; neither could be granted by any power.”

Myth 3: A person can “buy forgiveness” with indulgences.

The definition of indulgences presupposes that forgiveness has already taken place: “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven” (Indulgentarium Doctrina norm 1). Indulgences in no way forgive sins. They deal only with punishments left after sins have been forgiven.

Myth 4: Indulgences were invented to money for the Church.

Indulgences developed from reflection on the sacrament of reconciliation. They are a way of shortening the penance of sacramental discipline and were in use centuries before money-related problems appeared.

Myth 5: An indulgence will shorten your time in purgatory by a fixed number of days.

The number of days which used to be attached to indulgences were references to the period of penance one might undergo during life on earth. The Catholic Church does not claim to know anything about how long or short purgatory is in general, much less in a specific person’s case.

Myth 6: A person can buy indulgences.

The Council of Trent instituted severe reforms in the practice of granting indulgences, and, because of prior abuses, “in 1567 Pope Pius V canceled all grants of indulgences involving any fees or other financial transactions” (Catholic Encyclopedia). This act proved the Church’s seriousness about removing abuses from indulgences.

Myth 7: A person used to be able to buy indulgences.

One never could “buy” indulgences. The financial scandal around indulgences, the scandal that gave Martin Luther an excuse for his heterodoxy, involved alms- indulgences in which the giving of alms to some charitable fund or foundation was used as the occasion to grant the indulgence. There was no outright selling of indulgences. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “*t is easy to see how abuses crept in. Among the good works which might be encouraged by being made the condition of an indulgence, almsgiving would naturally hold a conspicuous place. . . It is well to observe that in these purposes there is nothing essentially evil. To give money to God or to the poor is a praiseworthy act, and, when it is done from right motives, it will surely not go unrewarded.”

From:
cin.org/users/james/files/myths.htm*


#5

[quote=BrianK]Can someone help me with this? I understand that there may have been some corruption at one point in the church because of this. However, if the money is going to administrative needs of the church (religious education, heat/electical bills, replacing vestments, etc.), it is consider “good works”, since you are helping spread the news about Jesus Christ in the end by keeping the church running? Also, I would imagine if this was the case, that the amount a person could afford to give would not really matter, just the act of giving would be the “good work”. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Brian
[/quote]

I think you are confusing indulgences with simple acts of charity. In the Church, an indulgence is a very specific work which, if performed properly, merits either partial or total expiation of the temporal effects of sin for one soul (it can be applied either to yourself or others). These may never be purchased outright (which would be the sin of simony), and to my knowledge there are no prescribed ways to gain indulgences which involve giving money of any sort.


#6

[quote=BrianK]Can someone help me with this? I understand that there may have been some corruption at one point in the church because of this. However, if the money is going to administrative needs of the church (religious education, heat/electical bills, replacing vestments, etc.), it is consider “good works”, since you are helping spread the news about Jesus Christ in the end by keeping the church running? Also, I would imagine if this was the case, that the amount a person could afford to give would not really matter, just the act of giving would be the “good work”. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Brian
[/quote]

Giving money to the Church does not buy you anything!
Keeping the church running in whatever form, money, or other support is the obligation of every Christian. Supporting the local parish is a precept of the Church, along with attending Mass every Sunday and Holy Day, Fasting and Abstinence on the appointed days, Confession once a year if in mortal sin, Reception of the Eucharist at least once a year,


#7

I think John_Henry gave a pretty complete answer to this question.

I view it as the following:
By being open to the grace of God, he is able to perform virtuous acts within us, being those of prayer, service, fasting, and almsgiving. In allowing God to work through us, we are made more holy and free from sin as we become more united to him.

And indulgence is simply an official recognition by the church that God is at work in a certain action. Its kind of obvious that God is at work through charitable giving to those in need, whether that be the poor or the church. It only makes sense that the church would recognize it as such.

However, being that this teaching can easily be misinterpreted as “buying salvation” to those who don’t understand it more clearly, the church, as stated before, has refrained from announcing any indulgencing with respect to monetary donations.

Josh


#8

Dear Josh,

So it doesn’t mean this?

Alan


#9

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