Q: What were indulgences? Why would some be angry at them? Why was the Catholic Church so in need of them?

A: Indulgences are only peripherally connected with the forgiveness of sins. Indulgences cannot save anyone, or get anyone released from hell.

Indulgences are “favors” granted to the faithful, much as the apostles were known to cure the lame, or heal the sick, but these favors serve to mitigate the consequences of sins that have already been forgiven.

For example: A contrite and repentant murderer might be forgiven by God for his sin, but that does little or nothing to mitigate the results of that murder, which will resound through history for generations.

Meanwhile, the many consequences of that murder remain the responsibilty of the murderer, even though the sin has been completely forgiven.

And while one who is forgiven of heinous sin may no longer be in danger of eternal damnation, there’s no assurance that such an imperfect soul is anywhere near ready to enter heaven.

Empowered by the grace and merits of Jesus and all the saints, and distributed by the authority of the Pope, indulgences have the power to spiritually “heal” the damage, rifts, and imperfections that still remain after sins have been duly forgiven, and to make up for what is still lacking, in virtually all forgiven sinners.

Non-Catholics often intentionally ignore or misrepresent this very significant and important issue, while the Catholic Church has always clearly understood and dealt with it … since the power to forgive sins that was given to the apostles by Christ, has always been linked to the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, which they received from Jesus, at the very same time.

During the middle ages, indulgences were, for a short time, a source of Church donations. When abuse began to occur, the practice of donating money to gain indulgences was permanently discontinued … but indulgences were not.

Today, indulgences are as necessary and practical as ever, but they can only be obtained through certain types of work and/or prayer, and they may only be applied to one’s own soul, or to the soul of one who has already died. They cannot be transferred to any other person who is alive on earth.

For more on this little understood matter, go here:…

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