History of Indulgences


My son is studying the Reformation in 4th grade at a public school. The definition that he recieved for indulgences was “Indulgences were pardons that were sold to people so that they could be forgiven”. I contacted the instructor (a non-catholic) and gave her the proper definition from the Compendium. She apologized for the mistake and we worked together on a simple statement that agreed with the Compendium and could be understood by the children, and gave them the corrected definition.
The teacher informed that me that the definition came from the text and handed me a copy of the text Rats, Bulls and Flying Machines and asked me to review it for other misstatements. In general I find the text mildly anticatholic. While there is only one misstatement of Catholic positions and statements of actions of Church officials are accurate, positive statements of the Church are non existent. Savonarola is represented as victim of Church persecution.
I am considering writing to the publisher and correcting them. Before I do that I want to make sure that I have my facts straight. During the scandals of selling indulgences, did any of the clergy involved actually teach that indulgences forgave sins?


In this article from New Advent (in the subheading “abuses”) it says that there were some clerics in Germany preaching that indulgences forgave the guilt for sins, not just temporal punishment.



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