Indulgence, what really is it?


#1

As we’ve been taught an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven. No question that the church has this authority to forgive sin. But we know that still we have to face punishments at the end that is why purgatory is there.

What I’m thinking is, the punishments refers not only to purgatory but also here on earth, but how can the church have this power to lessen our afflictions here on earth if let say we’re really been punished from our sin or how the church knows that these punishments can be actually remitted here if it were imposed?

“Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ Nathan answered David: ‘The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin; you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die’” (2 Sam. 12:13-14). God forgave David but David still had to suffer.

Can the church will have the power to remit David’s suffering on this situation?


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#2

According to the Norms for Indulgences, "An indulgence is the remission in the eyes of God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose culpable element has already been taken away. The Christian faithful who are rightly disposed and observe the definite, prescribed conditions gain this remission through the effective assistance of the Church, which, as the minister of redemption, authoritatively distributes and applies the treasury of the expiatory works of Christ and the saints.’

So, through the Church’s power to bind and to loose given to her by Christ (Mt 16:18), the Church may grant indulgences, but precisely the details of the punishment we have been spared, either in this world or the next, we do not know.


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