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indulgences

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Guest kaybria

Why did the Catholic Pope allow indulgences but then have it banned later on

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chrysostom

We still have indulgences today; they were never banned. Today, you can receive an indulgence even by making the sign of the cross. No charge.

When someone confesses their sins to a priest, the priest tells them a penance that they have to do afterwards. Since sin changes us for the worse, penance is a way to reverse that - to let God change us for the better. Today, a penance is usually just a few prayers. In the early church, penances could be very long and take days or even months. Maybe it was a pilgrimage, or something else. Indulgences were a way to shorten those penances while still receiving the same graces.

The pope attached indulgences to a lot of things; lots of prayers, pilgrimages, and good works. It was a way to encourage devotion and doing good by guaranteeing a special spiritual grace to these things. At some point, indulgences became attached to giving away money to the poor, and to the Church. While that is not inherently bad, it was sometimes misused as a kind of spiritual bribe. Martin Luther used that to attack the Catholic Church. Later, the Pope removed indulgences for giving away money. So that's not an issue anymore.

But indulgences are still around! They are graces for you and for me. Think of them as gifts, waiting to be claimed. There is no limit to how many you can lay hold of. They are very easy to get. Easy as making the sign of the cross!

If you are interested in a short summary of indulgences, check out this link.

https://www.catholic.com/tract/myths-about-indulgences

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