RECONCILIATION
 Part 6 Theological and Pastoral Issues

Chapter r64 Indulgences

Preliminary Questions

Bibliography

 

History

Theology

To Think About

Preliminary Questions

 

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Bibliography

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Indulgences

Revised Edition of the Baltimore Catechism No. 2, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, 1941

Lesson 33. Temporal Punishment and Indulgences

TRichstatter Commentary:    Note that the treatment Extreme Unction follows the chapter on temporal punishment and indulgences.  It is within this context of temporal punishment and indulgences that Extreme Unction is most comprehensible.

435. What is an indulgence? An indulgence is the remission granted by the Church of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.  

436. How many kinds of indulgences are there? There are two kinds of indulgences, plenary and partial. 

437. What is a plenary indulgence? A plenary indulgence is the remission of all the temporal punishment due to our sins.  TRichstatter Commentary:   If you receive a plenary indulgence at the moment of death, you go straight to heaven without any purgatory. 

438. What is a partial indulgence? A partial indulgence is the remission of part of the temporal punishment due to our sins.  TRichstatter Commentary:   They were "measured in terms" of "days" and "quarantines"

439. How does the Church by means of indulgences remit the temporal punishment due to sin? The Church by means of indulgences remits the temporal punishment due to sin by applying to us from her spiritual treasury part of the infinite satisfaction of Jesus Christ and of the superabundant satisfaction of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saints.   TRichstatter Commentary:    This theology presupposes the reification of grace and merit.  It is more difficult to explain when "grace" is understood in terms of love, relationships, and the Holy Spirit.

440. What is the superabundant satisfaction of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saints? The superabundant satisfaction of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saints is that which they gained during their lifetime but did not need, and which the Church applies to their fellow members of the communion of saints.

441. What must we do to gain an indulgence for ourselves? To gain an indulgence for ourselves we must be in the state of grace, have at least a general intention of gaining the indulgence, and perform the works required by the Church.

442. Can we gain indulgences for others? We cannot gain indulgences for other living persons, but we can gain them for the souls in purgatory, since the Church makes most indulgences applicable to them.

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H. C. Lea, A History of Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church, 3 volumes, 1896. [Osborne O.F.M. in the eucharist paper says "As far as Roman Catholic theology is concerned, it is perhaps the publication of H. C. Lea's book, A History of Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church, a publication which appeared in 3 volumes in 1896, that moved Roman Catholic scholarship into an intense study of the historical development of each of the sacraments.  His book was so obviously anti-Catholic, a Catholic response was clearly needed.]  

2. The historical study was "inspired" by H. C. Lea with his books A History of Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church, 3 volumes, 1896. [Osborne O.F.M. in the eucharist paper says "As far as Roman Catholic theology is concerned, it is perhaps the publication of H. C. Lea's book, A History of Auricular Confession and Indulgences in the Latin Church, a publication which appeared in 3 volumes in 1896, that moved Roman Catholic scholarship into an intense study of the historical development of each of the sacraments.  His book was so obviously anti-Catholic, a Catholic response was clearly needed.] – Once again "Love your enemies" proves true. The "enemy" was the one who eventually did us a lot of most good!

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