6 Indulgences as well as their Health Advantages


The Doctors Lorna’s Healthy Indulgences

Video taken from the channel: Lorna Jane



Video taken from the channel: dong facundo


What is an Indulgence? (Indulgences in the Catholic Church)

Video taken from the channel: Tom Richey


Are Indulgences Biblical?

Video taken from the channel: Catholic Answers


What are Catholic Indulgences?

Video taken from the channel: Ryan Reeves


The Truth About Indulgences W/ Fr. Gregory Pine

Video taken from the channel: Matt Fradd


CATHOLIC INDULGENCES | Everything You Need to Know!

Video taken from the channel: What Laura Likes

Here, six typical indulgences that offer enough of a health benefit to enjoy (within reason): In a June 2018 study from JAMA Ophthalmology, participants experienced small sight improvements for at least two hours after eating a dark chocolate bar. This included a 40% improvement in contrast sensitivity, possibly due to increased blood flow. I created my 8-week Program to help people give up diets for life, reclaim their relationship with health and heal their bodies.

I offer plenty of lifestyle tips, menu planners, tips on indulgence and more. And there are actual health benefits to that too, so long as we can find evidence that acts as permission to feel good about it. Here are some brands working with this truth in a positive way. These are insights that you too, could leverage for your brand: Let consumers “own” their indulgence.

Luckily, research shows that some of the indulgences we let ourselves enjoy may actually have health benefits. However, the information in the media can be confusing and downright contradictory at times. So here’s what the science really says. Why the Gaining of a Plenary indulgence for Oneself is not a Selfish Act. First we must understand two fundamental and extremely important features about the dogma and doctrine of Plenary Indulgences: The benefits of an indulgence can be applied to oneself.

Catholics should not be defensive about indulgences. They are based on principles straight from the Bible. Pope Paul VI declared, “[T]he Church invites all its children to think over and weigh up in their minds as well as they can how the use of indulgences benefits their lives and all Christian society…. This has been discussed on here before and the consensus was that we cannot apply indulgences to other living people because we cannot ensure that persons other than ourselves meet conditions like having repented of their sins and had them forgiven (as indulgences just remit temporal punishment for sins already forgiven), and having no attachment to sin (for the plenary). The indulgence system was formalized by Pope Urban II (1035–1099) during the Council of Clermont in 1095.

If an individual performed enough good deeds to earn a full or ‘Plenary’ indulgence from the Pope or lesser ranks of churchmen, all their sins (and punishment) would be erased. Throughout this second year (hard to believe there are 6 months of didactic training left!), I’ve been determined to hang on to those things that make my heart content: homemade meals with fresh veggies, sand volleyball with classmates, and daily meditations. In spite of the stressors–and a couple of gray eyebrow hairs (!)–I’m happy.

Truly. Health Benefits of Tea: Green, Black, and White Tea Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing.

List of related literature:

They pursue sensual indulgences to the injury of health, though perfectly aware that health is the greater good.

“Utilitarianism” by John Stuart Mill
from Utilitarianism
by John Stuart Mill
Fb&c Limited, 2017

These included the highly productive granting of indulgences for relief from required observances, such as abstinence from eating meat during Lent, or reduction of time to be spent in purgatory.

“A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550” by Edwin S. Hunt, Hunt, James M.. Murray, James Murray
from A History of Business in Medieval Europe, 1200-1550
by Edwin S. Hunt, Hunt, et. al.
Cambridge University Press, 1999

They even feel that to deny themselves of these health-destroying indulgences would be a restriction of their liberty.

“Healthful Living” by Ellen G. White
from Healthful Living
by Ellen G. White
TEACH Services, Incorporated, 1994

Multiple servings of coffee and wine per day are not a good strategy for anyone trying to transform their health, but it appears that the overwhelming healthiness of the Ikarian diet and lifestyle counteracts any negative effects of those indulgences.

“Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally” by Chris Wark
from Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally
by Chris Wark
Hay House, 2018

Benedictine community members had health habits identical to those of the Trappist monks, except for their diet.

“Handbook of Religion and Health” by Harold G. Koenig, Michael E. McCullough, David B. Larson
from Handbook of Religion and Health
by Harold G. Koenig, Michael E. McCullough, David B. Larson
Oxford University Press, 2001

In this they differ from partial indulgences, which can be gained as often in the day as one performs the prescribed work, unless the directions specifically state otherwise.

“The Faith Explained” by Leo J. Trese
from The Faith Explained
by Leo J. Trese
Scepter Publishers, 2017

Some indulgences are beneficial.

“Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society” by A. Breeze Harper
from Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society
by A. Breeze Harper
Lantern Books, 2009

These counsels are spread before the general public in the more than 2,000 pages of The Ministry of Healing, Medical Ministry, Counsels on Diet and Foods, Counsels on Health, and Temperance, and in articles in the Testimonies for the Church.

“Selected Messages Book 2” by Ellen G. White
from Selected Messages Book 2
by Ellen G. White
Review and Herald, 2006

They believe that health is a gift from God, but that clean living and a balanced diet help maintain it.

“Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination E-Book” by Linda Anne Silvestri
from Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN® Examination E-Book
by Linda Anne Silvestri
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

indulging these appetites isn’t so bad, but such indulgences weaken our wills in every other respect of our lives.

“The Pursuit of Holiness: Run in Such a Way as to Get the Prize 1 Corinthians 9:24” by Jerry Bridges
from The Pursuit of Holiness: Run in Such a Way as to Get the Prize 1 Corinthians 9:24
by Jerry Bridges
Tyndale House Publishers, 2014

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Nothing cringy-er than a non-Catholic trying to explain an indulgence. Sheesh! This is like watching a flat-Earther explain the globe. Dude, find a Catholic who knows what they are talking about, or get your facts from something other than a Dan Brown novel.

  • “In by grace, stay in by works.” I see how this could be a good way of thinking about the Catholic view of salvation, however, my understanding is that even those good works that keep you in a state of grace, are not done without the grace of God. This is why the CC makes it clear that they dogmatically believe in the doctrine of Sola Gratia. Nonetheless, good video, I enjoy listening to your channel.

  • I don’t understand what the difference is between saying the rosary at church or with others, from just saying it alone. Why would not the latter provide an indulgence? God looks at the heart and intentions, not how many people are by you when saying it.

  • “Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the granting of special Indulgences to the faithful in the current pandemic, 20.03.2020”

  • Do you stop sinning once you get to purgatory? If it is purification by suffering, I can see a lot of people responding sinfully to the punishment which would then mean they have longer to spend in purgatory. Kinda cyclic thing that would never end.

  • Roman Catholic Church is the Mother of Harlots, her daughters are all Protestant and Evangelical Churches. The Papacy is the False Prophet, his doctrines lead the entire world to damnation.

    God’s judgement has been pronounced:
    Rev_19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
    Rev_20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    One of the pictures in this video reminds me of the priest who gives the absolution to the boys after raping their innocence. Jesus Christ has also pronounced his judgement for them:
    Mat 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
    Mat 18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

    Sexual crimes of the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Protestant Churches are making headlines on the news today. If the spiritual leaders of those Churches cannot save themselves from hell, how can they lead people to salvation?

    The worse is they are now plotting together in the ecumenical movement to establish the One World Religion for the New World Order. This is their spiritual fornication that has been mentioned in the book of Revelation:
    Rev_2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
    Rev_9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
    Rev_14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
    Rev_17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
    Rev_17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
    Rev_18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
    Rev_18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
    Rev_19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

  • Hi Laura! Thank you so much for your videos. I really admire you for what you do. For several years I have been applying the practice of indulgences for the souls in Purgatory, especially through reading the Bible for half an hour.
    In the information you have written below the video on the conditions for receiving the indulgence, there are in my opinion wrong indications.
    It appears to me that confession, eucharist and prayer for the Pope can also be made also many days before or after the action concerning the indulgence without a precise time limit.
    Where did you read the “20 days” for confession and that the Eucharist and prayer for the Pope must be done on the same day as the action?

  • If I may correct your teaching on the Catholic doctrine of indulgences: indulgences arent given for the forgiveness of sins, they are given for the remission of temporal punishment do to the sins which have already been forgiven. After christ forgives our sins, Christians still must pay the consequences for the sins they commit; a good example of this is king David’s sin.

  • Make it easy on yourselves. Here’s really why. Enough said (Brought to you courtesy of that great Catholic, William F. Buckley):


  • I wish i could see you make a video about your church before and after the mass or when its ongoing.. if itu is possible thank you
    Nice video anyway to add more acknowledge about catholic.. i am catholic as well

  • You are a beautiful soul, and a gorgeous young lady so happy I came upon this, thank you, Jesus & Mary must be smiling down on you ����

  • Sure Tetzel did wrong. Rome didn’t know about it though. Not every person pushing indulgences did it in a manner in which Tetzel “peddled” indulgences. Even Scripture supports temporal consequences of sin despite being eternally forgiven. e.g. King David was forgiven but his firstborn had to die.

  • The Indulgenced prayer at the end of the manual of indulgences is applied towards the souls in Purgatory
    Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace

  • I am the first generation in my family that embrace Christian and i know nothing about Catholic….sometimes i got confused of what people were doing is so against what’s written on the Bible

  • I don’t know if you mentioned in the vid you can offer the indulgences you earn for holy souls in purgatory as an offering or give them to a Saint or our blessed mother the Virgin Mary

  • If u need indulgences & purgatory
    then why did Jesus die on the cross. If the bible isn’t totally inerrant then why bother with any of this.

  • So Indulgences have nothing to do with money? �� I cannot believe I’ve been lead astray. I’m definitely going to look into RCIA again. Thank you for this video! ��

  • Thanks! I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love how the first Eucharist comes with an indulgence and the Holy Eucharist is part of the repentance process in the Catholic theology. I believe that children are pure and they can’t sin, but as they grow up they become more corruptible and become accountable for their sins. I also believe that when they are confirmed they show their decision to follow Christ in all things. I love how you made sure to include that we need to repent with real intenta contrite heart. I believe that taking the emblems of Christ’s sacrament and turning one’s heart and actions to God allows us to access Christ in a way that we can be completely free from that sin (even if we still experience some consequences). Thanks for the explanation! We have so much in common!

  • The YouTube channel Sensus Fidelium have videos on Indulgences by traditionalist priests. I believe it has 2 or 3 parts. They also had put out a video on Summary of Indulgences. The channel is a very good resource for Catholics who would like to know the teachings of our traditional Catholic faith. They ask that you pray for the priest in the video, or, send a $1 contribution to help keep them going. Laura, good job in posting your videos. What we need are young people like you who can reach out to your generation.��

  • Please can you make a brief presentation of Abraham??? That is how Christians and Muslims describe his story…I’ve a test next week on it.thanks

  • https://www.amazon.com/Raccolta-Prayers-Devotions-Enriched-Indulgences/dp/1930278462/ref=asc_df_1930278462/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=316783146717&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17140582843808644218&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9028761&hvtargid=pla-637275763858&psc=1

  • Our local diocese had an ‘easter special’ going…3 candles lit and a 12 pack of indulgences for 20 bucks. Wait till closer to holidays to do the really big sins guys!

  • Thank you for this! For the confession part I want to clarify something please.
    So if I go to confession today then do the other 4 requirements that same day; does that work?
    Or do I have to go to confession 20 days before or after starting the requirements?
    I hope you understand my question lol

  • I have a novea to the Holy Spirit. It says we get partial indulgence when we devoulty assist at the public or private novena. I had no clue what that meant until now ��. Thank you for this video ❤️

  • I NEVER would have guessed there was a literal manual on indulgences! HA! Also Catholic my whole life HAHA! My husband was just asking me about this because he is a. newly Catholic as of Easter Vigil and b. it’s his first DMS and Novena. I had no idea how to explain it to him…. so I am glad you made this video! <3

  • Growing up I went to Catholic school elementary through high school. No matter what happened that we were upset about whether it was getting hurt, a bad grade, or friend problems, the Sisters would tell us don’t complain! Be quiet and offer your suffering and prayers for the poor souls in purgatory. They need our indulgences to get into heaven. I really think they just wanted us to be quiet and knew we could not talk back to that. Funny, I have sometimes used this on my kids when they are complaining about something minor.

  • Interesting to hear modern day Catholics talking about indulgences and purgatory. The Roman Catholic church started that way back by selling “indulgences” to the church goers to get there past relatives out of purgatory when the Bible clearly states that Jesus dying on the cross washed us clean off all our sins. And simply humbling yourself and asking for forgiveness from the Lord and he will forgive you because your sins have already been “paid for” or washed away by Jesus dieing on the cross, defeating Satan, and rising from the dead. Just want you to know that alot of the Catholics church beliefs are way off base. God bless you though

  • Thanks for having this playlist Laura! I’ve been skirting around Catholicism and the Orthodox church for around 2 years and more recently keep researching the church. I saw a video Mike Winger did about Catholicism and it was really difficult for me (currently a Protestant) to argue with some of his arguments, of which indulgences was one! So thanks for helping me to understand. I am hoping to go to mass by myself in the next week of two, please pray for me. I have some Protestant friends I know will not be pleased… none of my family is Christian so for them thankfully it doesn’t matter.

  • Thanks for giving your perspective on indulgences, Laura. In addition to your explanation, I also liked Fr. Mike Schmitz’s analogy of the eternal and the plenary indulgences to a torn rotator cuff surgery and Physical Therapy exercises for continued healing and strength. is this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpdUZ3kWjM8

    God bless! Nice work!

  • i was voen & raised Catholic. i left when i was 34 yrs old. im sorry but they are built on lies. indulgences paid for the vatican to be built. Poor people thought they were pardoned of their sins, by buying a piece of paper! disgusting!

  • It’s talks like this that just reaffirm every reason I left the Catholic faith. Not a word on Christ in the whole preamble up to almost five minutes, and that by the host. Christ paid it all…it’s why we don’t have to pay.

  • If you join the Rosary Confraternity. You can obtain a plenary indulgence on the day of your enrollment. http://www.rosarycenter.org
    You also enjoy the benefits of prayers from others around the world.

  • This has nothing really to do with your video but I just hate the term “indulgence.” It sounds like “indulge” which has such a selfish connotation. I wish it were called something else..

  • Wasn’t there also a transition into the idea of money purchasing an indulgence because those who did not actually go on crusade could still support the cause financially?

  • thanks for all the videos! please, upload more as much as possible. as a former student at SEBTS and SWBTS, I appreciate your lectures very much!

  • Interesting thankyou for this. I am Protestant and was always taught and still believe that only the Holy Bible is the only book of authority. I have never in the Bible read about purgatory nor indulgences please direct me to wear this information comes from bc honestly both things to me seem to contradict the Bible. I appreciate your videos bc I love learning about other religions.

  • A parish near my work does this. They have a rosary directly after weekday Mass at noon. So it usually only takes an hour or 75 minutes for daily Mass and the rosary, then adding on the prayers for the Pope’s intentions.

  • Being Catholic it always made me mad when my history teacher had no clue what an indulgence was the remit temporal punishment in purgatory they dont send yiu to heaven.

  • Thank you for the insight. I feel that it’s tough for working people to be able to gain a plenary indulgence if Holy Communion is required on the same day as Adoration. I typically go to Adoration on Tuesdays after work, but there’s no Mass on Tuesday evenings so that kinda sucks..And when I go to weekend Mass, there’s no Adoration before or after. Oh well…��‍♀️

  • I am confused. The crusades were popular because the church offered a plenary indulgence for those who took part. Why was this an incentive If you can get a plenary indulgence by reading the bible for 30 mins at home?
    Has the teaching on indulgences changed that much?! One century it is ‘Risk your life fighting’ another it is ‘read in bed’.

  • Indulgence$ are how the modern world’s highest profile paedophile ring managed to fleece so many illiterate and ignorant people that they could acquire all that lovely art and their own country… Yay.

  • I am very interested in and actively trying to learn about Catholic theology. As a protestant, the idea of indulgences makes sense in a way but not in another. I believe strongly that we are to be conformed to the image of Christ. Such is the point of salvation, to made to be like Christ and thus one with God. So, indulgences as a means of actively purifying my soul makes sense. But on the other hand, it does seem to rob the cross of its power to me. In my protestant mind, Jesus’ sacrifice alone “atones” for sin. I kind of get indulgences, but I think I need to wrestle with it some more.

  • First is sin, mortal sin breaks the relationship with God and venal sin wounds the relationship with God. Mortal sin has a double consequence both eternal and temporal punishment. Venal sin has only a consequence of temporal punishment. When you repent for your mortal sins the eternal punishment is remitted. Then comes penance which is prayer, self mortification, and charity otherwise good works in the atonement of sins the temporal punishment is remitted.

    An indulgence is a gift which comes from the Church which greatly if not completely removes the temporal punishment caused by sins. As Christ and His Church are married what the Church forgives is forgiven by God by the merits of Christ and the saints temporal punishment is forgiven. The word indulgence comes from the Roman word indulgentiam meaning kindness, favor, mercy, and leniency as Roman tax collectors would sometimes forgive people their tax debts that is where the concept of the Chirch forgiving people their debts owed to God for having sinned originated otherwise the remission of temporal punishment.

    And why is it called punishment? You have to look at it like this even if you break the relationship with God or the relationship with God is wounded the time people are given in this world they can repent for their sins and atone for them to God. But once the time is up after the Particular Judgment immediatly follows the consequences which could be punishment whether eternal (Hell) or temporal (Purgatory).

    As for Christ’s atonement made for mankind the original sin is remitted as long as the person died in friendship with God. From original sin all other sins stemmed from which is why no one could enter into Heaven before the Advent of Christ including the righteous dead in Limbo of the Fathers.

  • Because of your lectures I am understanding church history and its relevance to us today  and the history of the Word of God. Thank you

  • Indulgences are a new idea for me. As an ex-Protestant, I was told lies that indulgences were only about money. This video is eye opening. Thanks for this!

  • Yo I love your channel Tom, my Ap Euro teacher literally has a website dedicated to your videos for studying/reviewing. Keep up the good work bro

  • These are lies. Indulgence does NOT remplace penance. You get absolution, you do your penance and THEN you might do acts of love towards God that in some cases have indulgences bound to them.

  • Hi, Tom. I´d like to make a few comments about your video.

    Indulgences are about the temporal punishment due to sins. It works like this: first, one needs to repent, and then confess their sins to a priest or bishop. The sins are forgiven, but the temporal punishment of sin remains. For example, if a person dies immediately after confession, they might still have to go through Purgatory. Noone stays in Purgatory forever and everyone there goes to Heaven after their purification.

    So the person in your example who “killed a guy” would not have his sin forgiven through indulgences. First, he needed to truly repent and confess. That´s what would grant him forgiveness. The indulgences could only help him with the temporal punishment.

    You can see a good explanation for indulgences in the Catechism of the Catholic Church numbers 1471 on.


  • Ryan I have watched quite a few of your videos and as a Catholic, though I may not always agree with everything you say, I still want to thank you for trying to be honest and fair to the Catholic side. I would have no problem recommending any of your videos and have done so on more than one occasion.

  • If all our righteous deeds are as filthy rags to God, one can only imagine how truly pathetic and useless indulgences are in God’s sight.

  • Hi Dr. Reeves,

    Your explanation of indulgences is relatively good. There are, however, some points I would like to clarify as they are still open to misunderstanding and perhaps not quite properly understood due to the protestant perspective.

    The first point I would like to make is that the idea of temporal punishment as distinct from eternal punishment, and the necessity of penance to make reparation for temporal punishment, and the concept of purgatory are not Medieval inventions. These concepts did develop in fullness over time, however the basic concepts are not only present in sacred scripture, they are also clearly present in many writings of the early Church Fathers.

    For example, prayers for the dead (which only makes sense if they have need to undergo purgation) are attested as Christian practice received from the Apostles in..
    Tertullian, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Gregory of Nyssa

    That there remains non-eternal punishment due to sins that must be suffered after death (ie purgatory) is found in
    Origin, Clement of Alexandria, Gregory of Nyssa

    These ideas are also clearly attested in the early liturgical prayers of the Church and in early Christian inscriptions in the catacombs and on tombs etc.

    It is true that some aspects of the teaching were not fully developed until the Medieval era, but the core doctrines were well established LONG before that.

    The second point is that protestants are prone to misunderstand the concept of “temporal punishment”, so simply saying that Catholics believe in Eternal punishment and Temporal punishment is not sufficient explanation. After all, why are there two punishments for the same crime?

    Eternal punishment has to do with our direct relationship with God. When we sin deliberately, intentionally, with full knowledge, etc. We are essentially making the same choice that Adam and Eve made, which is to go it on our own. We are saying to God “I don’t want to do it your way, I’m going to do it my way and go it without you.” This breaks our relationship with God because God gives us what we want. When we say by our actions “I don’t want to be at one with you” he gives us what we want and separates himself from us. The result of this is eternal separation (to as great a degree as possible) from God, which is to say, Hell.

    Temporal punishment has more to do with us internally and to a lesser degree to us and our relationship with those around us. First and foremost, sin damages our very soul. You could almost think of it as addictive, or habit forming. When we sin, it creates disorder in our heart, mind, etc. That disorder tends to create more disorder. So if I give in to lust, it makes more likely to both be tempted to lust and to give in, in the future. Likewise, if I continually give in to lust, it may start to make me more prone to anger, or gluttony, etc.
    Temporal punishment is primarily about setting this damage right. We do that through penitential acts that are designed to repair the damage, like prayer, or works of charity, etc.

    It is not simply a matter of “having red in your ledger with God” it is matter of the fact that your choices have affected your very being and you need to make new choices to set right the things you put wrong in yourself.

    In doing this, it must ALWAYS be understood that we are not EARNING anything. We are merely cooperating with Grace. In proper Catholic thought it is understood that we can do nothing apart from God’s grace through Christ. This includes confession, and penances. We are not earning, but rather cooperating. God is a good parent who realizes that we learn and grow best by him helping us to do what we are capable of doing.

    Temporal punishment in this regard, as seen in both penance and in purgatory is more like taking your medicine and undergoing a painful rehabilitation, than what most protestants think of when the word “punishment” is used.

    You were correct to use the were reparation or restitution as well. Penance also strongly involves this concept (this is the second part I mentioned above that could also involve our relationship to other people). If we sin we incur a debt to God that only Jesus could satisfy. However, we may also damage ourselves and others. When this occurs we need to make good on the damages through restitution. Again, we do this only with the assistance of God’s grace but we need to do what we are able to do if it is actually to change us and to help us.

    The third point is that the giving of alms was seen a primary means of practicing charity and thus one of the greatest acts of penance going back to the OT, right on through the NT and by Jesus himself. This was not remotely a Medieval innovation. You are correct that the idea of substituting a monetary penance when the penitent could not do a physical penance was something that grew up in the early middle ages.

    This actually was heavily influenced by the Celtic tradition of penance and having a personal confessor as a spiritual friend and guide. In this tradition it became popular such confessors to be very strict and give really hard penances. The Church (contrary to what most people think) actually tried to discourage that sort of thing and keep penances light and reasonable. However, as a result of this practice confessors began to note what others were doing and it began to develop a kind of code where certain types of penance were seen as equal to other types. For example a penance of kneeling in the snow and praying for an hour might be seen as equal to having 10 monks pray for you for an hour. Having monks pray for a specific person was often procured by donation to the monastery etc. One aspect of this was that it began to include monetary substitutions. It should be noted that none of this was ever official church teaching. It was something that grew up because the common people themselves liked it and sought it out.

    Lastly, the idea of an indulgence specifically is not exactly the same as penance but it is closely related. An indulgence, necessarily, is related to an action that goes above and beyond any necessary act of penance. As a result an indulgence can only be obtained by a person who has “detachment from all sin” and is in a state of grace, etc. The idea that an indulgence was a license to sin etc is utterly false, as is the concept that an indulgence can merely be bought by anyone. If a person has an intention to sin, or if they have sin they have not repented of etc, then it would be impossible for them to get a valid indulgence.

    The concept of an indulgence is based upon the idea of the communion of the saints and the body of Christ as the family of God. It is right and fitting that God’s children help each other. This is what charity demands and it is what God wants of us. It pleases him when we help each other just like it would please any good Parent when they see on child help another simply out of love for a fellow sibling.

    This is abundantly clear in physical life and is well attested in scripture and tradition. The Church came to the conclusion that the same thing is true in spiritual life as well. Thus if you are in a state of grace and you go and do something above and beyond what is required of you, you can give the reward for what you did to me. That is what an indulgence is. The Church saying, you did a good thing that you were not required to do, as a result we are going to dispense to you some of the reward that has been earned by Jesus Christ and all the saints down through history.

    Again, it must be understood when talking of anyone other than Jesus that the word “earned” is used with a different meaning. It doesn’t mean that we actually earned something by putting God in our debt and thus he is obligated to pay us back. It means that we, by God’s grace, did something that God legitimately finds pleasing and thus he has determined to reward it, even though we could not have done it without his help.

    There were obvious abuses of these doctrines at the time of Luther and before. I certainly won’t deny that. However, the doctrines themselves are founded on scripture and apostolic teaching. They also do not involve earning forgiveness or meriting salvation in the strict sense of either earn or merit. When Catholics use the term ‘merit’ we mean it in a different sense than most protestants understand.

    It should also be noted that Luther was not only reacting to the abuses of these Catholic doctrines. He was also reacting against a relatively new set of doctrinal ideas that had emerged in some of the Via Moderna universities including Wittenburg where Luther studied. The ideas regarding soteriology that he received from his education there were NOT traditional Catholic teaching. It was largely these ideas that prompted his crisis of faith regarding the assurance of his salvation.

    A final note on the assurance of salvation. This is often raised as an objection to Catholic soteriology but in my opinion (having been protestant for the first 3 decades of my life) this is a rather hypocritical objection. The assurance provided by most variants of protestant theology I have ever seen is largely illusory and is usually subject to the same conditions as it is in Catholic teaching. For example, the predestination of the Elect and the perseverance of the saints means basically nothing in terms of assurance unless you can know infallibly that you are one of the Elect. Given that there are many cases of Reformed (as with every denomination) Christians who have apostasized you must either conclude that the Elect are NOT halmarked by sanctification or that said person was never elect to begin with. If they were never elect to begin with, then it would seem that a person cannot know if they are elect or not and any person may be liable to fall away, thus proving that they were not elect.
    If you insist upon sanctification as a hallmark of the elect, then you have the same condition that Catholics have.

  • An indulgence cannot remit sin, you cannot buy forgiveness with money, that’s like saying that the blood of Jesus Christ wasn’t enough to pay for our sins and we know it was, you can’t work your way to heaven. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Him. John 14:6. Follow Jesus and not the pope.

  • Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. Hebrews 7:27

    Jesus has already paid for all your sins. Repent and believe in Him, He loves you ❤