Souls and Purchased Indulgences


Has the Church said if the indulgences purchased for the deceased in the era of Luther had any effect?
Would the abused nature of the indulgences counteract their effectiveness?


Interesting question.

I leave it to the Lord to sort out, and if he feel’s the request for indulgence, whether purchased or earnestly sought through other means are licit or valid.

Like illicit sacraments and Masses, the burden of sanctity and righteousness is not on the recipient, but on the administrator.

So, if “purchased” with a pure heart, I would hope those requesting them are not penalized because of the paradigm of those times.

Again, I leave it to the Lord to read the hearts of all involved.


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

One never could “buy” indulgences. The financial scandal surrounding 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: “[I]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.”

This is from Catholic Answers here.

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