Question on indulgences

Hello all and God bless

I am assuming we all are familiar with the history of Martin Luther and the 95 theses, so I’ll skip over that.

If we look in the procedings of the Council of Trent
We can see that the Council ended the practice of selling indulgences. So, we know someone was selling them, and we know they were sold in Germany (ergo Martin Luther complained about them).

My question is this: how wide a practice was this, the sale of indulgences? Was it just a local, German practice, or was it a wider practice?

Did it happen in Rome, or Paris? How about Madrid, or London?

Thank you in advance,
Subrosa

It happened everywhere. “Buying” an indulgence was the ordinary means to obtain one.

They were heavily promoted to finance the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica. The original St. Peter’s had to be demolished because it had become structurally unsound and was beyond the ability (of the time) to be restored.

It’s unfortunate that Old St. Peter’s could not have held on for a few more centuries. No doubt that modern materials and techniques could have rescued it. It would be around 1700 years old.

Selling indulgences is simony and simony has always been condemned by the Catholic Church. I don’t know how widespread the abuse of selling indulgences had become in Luther’s day but it must have spread beyond Germany for the Council of Trent to issue a worldwide suspension of the otherwise praiseworthy practice of offering indulgences as incentives to Catholics to donate money in support of some good cause.

Until Trent, the Church’s understanding of simony was restricted to the buying and selling of religious office.

Of course, it happened. Pope Benedict-9 sold his own Papacy! Which ended his, umm, second of three reigns as Pope.

The discussion of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) on simony in his Summa Theologica, Part 2, Question 100, seems to have a broader definition of simony than just the buying and selling of religious office.

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