Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Discuss the Christian Faith.
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jones jones
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Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Post by jones jones »

Despite the fact that I am a dyed in the wool atheist, I try not to bad mouth any religion or the followers of any specific church. Instead I attempt by my own interpretation of history, to disprove the existence of a biblical god and to re-explain what is actually meant by what is written in the Christian bible.

Almost at the same time that the Vatican was offering indulgences to Facebook, Twitter and other “virtual” participants in the upcoming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, a little book with beautiful mother-of-pearl cover came into my hands. It turned out to be like an “instruction manual” for Catholics about the rosary, father, son & Holy Ghost, our mother Mary, baptism and a gazillion prayers & rites, heaven, hell purgatory etc etc.

I must confess that I had never heard about “indulgences” before this time. To me, and I may be wrong, purgatory is a place Catholic souls enter after death so that they can be purified before they enter heaven. The length of time spent there depends on how many "infractions" you receive while still alive. According to my research, the average stay in purgatory is thirty to forty years and a single hour spent there seems longer than twenty years of extreme suffering on earth.

An indulgence seems to be a remission granted by the Church via the power given to St. Peter by Christ to expunge sin, or words to that effect.

So does this mean that The Vatican/Pope can at their whim, grant you enough indulgences so that you have a “get out of purgatory card’ when you die and you go directly to paradise?
"…I hate how I don’t feel real enough unless people are watching." — Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
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LarsMac
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Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Post by LarsMac »

Indulgences were one of the BIG reasons Luther got so riled up with the Church.
Control is an illusion. The Chaos is all part of the fun.
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Bryn Mawr
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Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Post by Bryn Mawr »

LarsMac;1432314 wrote: Indulgences were one of the BIG reasons Luther got so riled up with the Church.


Mostly because they were on sale to anyone with the cash to swell the Church's coffers.

A Priest forgiving sins for free is one thing, the Pope selling forgiveness for cash is quite another and nearly destroyed the Church.
Mark Aspam
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Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Post by Mark Aspam »

JJ, here is something I found on a several-years-old thread that might be helpful:

Indulgences were, and are, assigned to prayers that the Church appointed to be said in place of public penance. Prior to indulgences,

an adulterer might, for example, as a condition of his/her absolution, be required to stand outside the Church every Sunday for, say,

a year, wearing a sign saying, 'I am an adulterer - Please pray for me'. If s/he were unwilling to do so absolution would not be given.

Understandably, such acts of penance came to be regarded as excessively strict so a system of appointed prayers, each assigned as

being equal in merit to a certain length of public penance were developed. If a prayer is assigned, for example, 300 days indulgence,

it is supposed to replace 300 days of public penance. It does NOT imply 300 fewer days in purgatory, nor, in modern times at least,

does the Church even teach that time will exist in purgatory.

The sale of indulgences which sparked the Reformation had to do not with salvation, but with the release of the souls of the departed

from purgatory. A soul in purgatory is already saved whereas a soul is hell is lost forever and all the money or prayers in the world

cannot help it. The sellers claimed that for a certain amount of money immediate release of a specified soul, if that soul was in purgatory

and not in hell, was promised. This is outright simony, that is, sale of the sacred, and a grave misuse, as I said previously, of ecclesiastical

authority. Needless to say, the Church no longer sells indulgences, nor should it ever have done so.

--end of quote--

Now, with regard to purgatory, the Catholic Church bases this belief on Mark 9:49, in which Christ speaks of "the [debtor's] prison", and

compares one's responsibility for fiscal debts to atonement for one's sins. Also Paul, and here I've forgotten in which of his writings, you

could look it up in a concordance, claims that if a man's good works are insufficient for salvation, the man will saved through fire. The

Church interprets this rather broadly, regarding such suffering as, for example, a lingering illness prior to death, as another example of

such atonement.

I've never heard of any 'average stay', and certainly do not believe that if such a place of atonement exists, it is restricted to Catholics!
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jones jones
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Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Post by jones jones »

Mark Aspam;1450302 wrote: JJ, here is something I found on a several-years-old thread that might be helpful:

Indulgences were, and are, assigned to prayers that the Church appointed to be said in place of public penance. Prior to indulgences,

an adulterer might, for example, as a condition of his/her absolution, be required to stand outside the Church every Sunday for, say,

a year, wearing a sign saying, 'I am an adulterer - Please pray for me'. If s/he were unwilling to do so absolution would not be given.

Understandably, such acts of penance came to be regarded as excessively strict so a system of appointed prayers, each assigned as

being equal in merit to a certain length of public penance were developed. If a prayer is assigned, for example, 300 days indulgence,

it is supposed to replace 300 days of public penance. It does NOT imply 300 fewer days in purgatory, nor, in modern times at least,

does the Church even teach that time will exist in purgatory.

The sale of indulgences which sparked the Reformation had to do not with salvation, but with the release of the souls of the departed

from purgatory. A soul in purgatory is already saved whereas a soul is hell is lost forever and all the money or prayers in the world

cannot help it. The sellers claimed that for a certain amount of money immediate release of a specified soul, if that soul was in purgatory

and not in hell, was promised. This is outright simony, that is, sale of the sacred, and a grave misuse, as I said previously, of ecclesiastical

authority. Needless to say, the Church no longer sells indulgences, nor should it ever have done so.

--end of quote--

Now, with regard to purgatory, the Catholic Church bases this belief on Mark 9:49, in which Christ speaks of "the [debtor's] prison", and

compares one's responsibility for fiscal debts to atonement for one's sins. Also Paul, and here I've forgotten in which of his writings, you

could look it up in a concordance, claims that if a man's good works are insufficient for salvation, the man will saved through fire. The

Church interprets this rather broadly, regarding such suffering as, for example, a lingering illness prior to death, as another example of

such atonement.

I've never heard of any 'average stay', and certainly do not believe that if such a place of atonement exists, it is restricted to Catholics!


Hi Mark Aspam;

Thanx for going to such trouble on my behalf.

The workings of the Holy See continue to both amaze and amuse me ... that said there is much about the Catholic Church in Rome and indeed in many other parts of the world notably Ireland, that I find I find disturbing. But that is another story/thread.

Have we met before in a previous FG incarnation?
"…I hate how I don’t feel real enough unless people are watching." — Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Mark Aspam
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Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Post by Mark Aspam »

jones jones;1450327 wrote: Have we met before in a previous FG incarnation?
Maybe on another forum elsewhere. I used to post to a couple of others that were theology only, they both folded.

Here I have, thus far, posted infrequently for a couple of years. I gotta say, FG certainly offers a wide choice of subject matter.

P.S. I just noticed, it says that I joined in April 2008. which would be more than "a couple of years". That's what happens when you get old, time sort of compresses on you.
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jones jones
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Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Post by jones jones »

I gotta say, FG certainly offers a wide choice of subject matter.



That it does ...
"…I hate how I don’t feel real enough unless people are watching." — Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters
Mark Aspam
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Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Post by Mark Aspam »

Mark Aspam;1450302 wrote: Also Paul, and here I've forgotten in which of his writings, you could look it up in a concordance, claims that if a man's good works are insufficient for salvation, the man will be saved through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
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jones jones
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Indulgences ... Purgatory and All That.

Post by jones jones »

Mark Aspam;1450421 wrote: 1 Corinthians 3:13-15


I know you mean well Captain Mark, but the Christian bible and I do not "see aye to aye"!
"…I hate how I don’t feel real enough unless people are watching." — Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

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