Indulgences and alms


Ok, I am a bit unclear on the whole Luther/indulgence controversy. I have lost links to some historical documents on the issues as well, and I am trying to defend against talks of the reformation. Obviously there were abuses by some individuals, but I have a few questions on some specifics.

1.) Did Pope Leo X sell plenary (or even partial ) indulgences or are there any such cases under Rome’s approval?

2.) Was the giving of alms taught to grant a partial indulgence?

3.) If yes to 3, isn’t it now taught that alms do not grant indulgences?

and finally

4.) Was Johann Tetzel and that 23 year old Bishop (forgot his name, accused of buying his office etc.) guilty of abuse of indulgences, and if so (and most importantly) is there any historical document to support the idea that Rome supported the abuse? -It is my understanding that at least Tetzel is innocent of abuses, but are there any historical documents that would point otherwise?

So any answers would be great, and if anyone has a link to any documents to counter 4 (especially Rome not being involved in selling indulgences) I would be greatly appreciative!



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