29 March 2020

Word of the Day: Indulgence

INDULGENCE. "The remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned, which the follower of Christ with the proper dispositions and under certain determined conditions acquires through the intervention of the Church, which, as minister of the redemption, authoritatively dispenses and applies the treasury of the satisfaction won by Christ and the saints" (Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution on Indulgences).

As originally understood, an indulgence was a mitigation of the severe canonical penances imposed on the faithful for grave sins. The term "indulgence" remained, however, even after these extreme penalties were discontinued. Yet until the Second Vatican Council, the norm for determining the effectiveness of an indulgenced practice was its relationship to the ancient canonical penances, as seen in the numbers, so many years or so many days, attached to every official listing of partial indulgences.

All this was changed by Pope Paul VI. From now on the measure of how efficacious an indulgenced work is depends on two things: the supernatural charity with which the indulgenced task is done, and the perfection of the task itself.

Another innovation is that partial and plenary indulgences can always be applied to the dead by way of suffrage, asking God to remit their sufferings if they are still in purgatory.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to deletion if they are not germane. I have no problem with a bit of colourful language, but blasphemy or depraved profanity will not be allowed. Attacks on the Catholic Faith will not be tolerated. Comments will be deleted that are republican (Yanks! Note the lower case 'r'!), attacks on the legitimacy of Pope Francis as the Vicar of Christ (I know he's a material heretic and a Protector of Perverts, and I definitely want him gone yesterday! However, he is Pope, and I pray for him every day.), the legitimacy of the House of Windsor or of the claims of the Elder Line of the House of France, or attacks on the legitimacy of any of the currently ruling Houses of Europe.