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Switch to Forum Live View Indulgences making a comeback?
6 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2009 - 10:44AM #1
malanga
Posts: 626
I don't know about the rest of you, but I find this most disturbing...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/nyreg … ml?_r=2&em
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2009 - 11:56AM #2
Prajna
Posts: 1,705
I have no qualms regarding indulgence as long as people understand what an indulgence is. 

My parish has mentioned them.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 11, 2009 - 12:36PM #3
TemplarS
Posts: 6,877
Indulgences need to be understood in the context of the entire process of salvation and sanctification, and how those are understood today.

Indulgences do not effect one's salvation.

But they are one way of dealing with detours on one's path of sanctification. Our journey as Christians should be one of real change, of a continuing process of drawing closer to God. We are not all at the same place on that journey; one who sins much is not less worthy in God's sight than one who sins less (given proper repentence), and may equally well achieve salvation; but I would say they are certainly less far along the road of sanctification. To the extent that journey is not sufficiently completed in this life- that is where Purgatory comes in. I am not sure anymore that it makes sense to say that Purgatory is a place of punishment; it is a place of perfecting.

Penance plays a big role in this. In terms of one's salvation, confession and absolution of sins is enough. But penance is valuable in getting one back on the track of sanctification.

I am okay with prayers for those in Purgatory, though I would think that is more along the lines of strenthening them rather than "convincing" God to give them time off.

I can see where indulgences, employed properly, can serve this function. Indulgences tied to doing good can certainly move one along as regards sanctifiction.

I have a problem, however, to the extent indulgences are viewed as the easy way out; it is not as if one can bribe God or the Church to ease one's path. Sacramental confession too can be misused in this way, if one takes the view that is is easier to sin so long as one confesses it afterwards, than to try to refrain from sinning. That is not what God asks. God wants us to become more holy people, and stands ready to help us in many ways, including his Church. But he wants us to sincerely act in such a way, not look for loopholes.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 12, 2009 - 5:10PM #4
Smurfette2002
Posts: 98
Good reply TemplarS. My diocese offered an indulgence to attend a local cathedral and my husband raised his eyebrows about it (he's not Catholic). Yes, I think indulgences can be a good think and is not a free pass to heaven. I think a lot of people forget that for an indulgence, a confession is usually a prerequisite for the indulgence (which even mentions this in the article) so it's not a bad to tool to get people back to confessing more often.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 13, 2009 - 9:20AM #5
malanga
Posts: 626
Yes, that was a very good explanation TemplarS.  I am still of the opinion that indulgences  are much more likely to be misunderstood  and misused, as history has taught us.  Better to not place an emphasis on them and encourage people to try to use them when they truly do not understand their nature.  Anyway, this is my opinion; I'm not trying to be a new Martin Luther!
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2009 - 10:00AM #6
steve123
Posts: 610

malanga wrote:

I don't know about the rest of you, but I find this most disturbing...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/nyreg … ml?_r=2&em


This sounds disturbing to me as well as an RCIA person.  However, I don't know much about what the church is officially saying regarding the issue of indulgences.  Can someone provide a link or a short blurb on what the official RCC stance is on this?

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2009 - 12:35PM #7
rjak134
Posts: 320

steve123 wrote:

This sounds disturbing to me as well as an RCIA person.  However, I don't know much about what the church is officially saying regarding the issue of indulgences.  Can someone provide a link or a short blurb on what the official RCC stance is on this?


Here's a good article dealing with some common misconceptions about indulgences:

http://www.catholic.com/library/myths_a … gences.asp

And here's another on how to obtain them:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0609fea3sb.asp


As you can see from those articles, the author of the NY Times article has relatively little grasp of the theology involved - fairly common for secular news sources, unfortunately.  Hope these were helpful.

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 16, 2009 - 1:59PM #8
steve123
Posts: 610

rjak134 wrote:

Here's a good article dealing with some common misconceptions about indulgences:

http://www.catholic.com/library/myths_a … gences.asp

And here's another on how to obtain them:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0609fea3sb.asp


As you can see from those articles, the author of the NY Times article has relatively little grasp of the theology involved - fairly common for secular news sources, unfortunately.  Hope these were helpful.


Thanks, rjak134.  Yes, they definitely were helpful.

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6 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 9:24AM #9
malanga
Posts: 626
a friend of mine sent me this e-mail regarding indulgences I thought I would share.

A summary of Fr. Lawrence’s comments today during Bible Study on this coming Sunday's readings:

A perverted trend among Catholics is that you need to continually repent for your sins over and over and do things to make up for them.  This attitude is traced in part to (1) St. Augustine’s tendency to view proper acts as essential to salvation (extended by the Dominicans when they where initially charged with hearing confessions a few centuries ago), and (2) the corrupt practice of indulgences put in place to pay for constructing the Vatican, and (3) the non-Biblical notion of purgatory.

Fr. Lawrence asserts the proper view is that once you are forgiven in reconciliation, like old people, God forgets you ever did anything wrong and you are spiritually in fine shape and saved.  God does not count or weigh bad or good deeds, because you can’t earn salvation and he totally forgets the repented bad ones.   Most probably, when one eventually is face-to-face with God's love, one feels an instant of remorse for not having done more to reciprocate that love.

Nevertheless, some people erroneously insist on reliving and repenting for previously forgiven sins.  In essence, they are rejecting the message that Christ takes up repented sins.  Many also think God exists in time and place rather than in eternity and, hence, believe in purgatory.  Sacraments are rites of thanksgiving to God, not actions to make up for sins.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 23, 2009 - 11:07AM #10
Prajna
Posts: 1,705
Here is another little nasty article about Indulgences from the TIMES:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article … tion-yahoo
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