Why do we believe in indulgences?


Why/how do we believe in indulgences?

So an indulgence remits temporal penalties. I don’t understand this. How can we do things—such as pray—in order to take place of the temperol punishments of our sins we commit?

Is this even biblical!??

“To gain a plenary indulgence you must perform the act with a contrite heart, plus you must go to confession (one confession may suffice for several plenary indulgences), receive Holy Communion, and pray for the pope’s intentions. (An Our Father and a Hail Mary said for the pope’s intentions are sufficient, although you are free to substitute other prayers of your own choosing.) The final condition is that you must be free from all attachment to sin, including venial sin.”

Who says? How does the Church come up with this?


You might want to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, here’s a good on line site:scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm#1471

[quote=www.scborromeo.org] X. INDULGENCES
1471 The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.
What is an indulgence?
"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."81
"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin."82 The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.83
The punishments of sin
1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.84
1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the "new man."85


As to the question of it it biblical, not really, but the Church was given power by Christ to bind and loose and such; to say ‘Who says?’ like the church doesn’t have this ability needs to be catechized.
I’m not and will never say you questioned the Church because you didn’t. :slight_smile:


You seem to be having problems with the very idea of indulgences. Where is this stemming from?


Penance is Biblical (eg. Heb. 13:15; 1 Pet 4:8). Indulgences are Church-made laws governing penances. Nobody ever claimed that the Church’s specific laws dispensing indulgences “come from” the Bible, just like the Mass schedule times printed on the weekly bulletin don’t “come from” the Bible – they are administrative decisions which the Church has the authority to make.


Catholic Encyclopedia article on Indulgences.


I highly recommend the following articles by Jimmy Akin, Catholic Answers’ Director of Apologetics and Evangelization:[LIST]
What’s Wrong with a Little Indulgence?
*]Primer of Indulgences[/LIST][LIST]
*]Myths about Indulgences[/LIST]These articles discuss the questions you raise, including the biblical principles of indulgences and authority/the role of the Church.


Easy to understand article on the Scriptural basis of Indulgences by the director of Catholic Apologetics at CA, Jimmy Akin!! :smiley:


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