The LORD warned us specifically to “take heed that no man deceive you.” The LORD does not give idle warnings, for the warnings and admonitions of the LORD are themselves prophecy of what would come. The LORD is actually saying: “In the last days, the majority will be deceived, take heed that it doesn’t happen to you!” Not only is deception of the church possible, it was prophesied to happen! “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
From: StarTribune, Indulgences: What’s old is new again
Indulgences — a rite in the Roman Catholic Church that harkens back to the Middle Ages and the Reformation — are making a return.
One of the newest things in the Roman Catholic Church is one of the oldest. Middle Ages old, to be exact. Indulgences are back. Unused for decades, the rites that the faithful believe lessen punishment for sins are now being offered by 15 churches in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis….
“Say I steal something from someone. The consequence of that might be that the person I stole from is under distress, so he goes home and is mean to his family, and then they go out and are mean to other people. A web of bad emanates from the stealing.
“I go to confession and am forgiven by God for stealing. But what about all the other people that were hurt by my sin? How can I make up for that?”
One way is an indulgence, which the church describes as “a gift of self or goods.” You can’t track down all the people you might have hurt to pay them back, Cozzens said, but you can “in effect, ‘pay it forward.’ The same way bad rippled out from what you did, good can ripple out.”
From: TIME, Why Catholic Indulgences Are Making a Comeback
It’s no longer enough to repeat a prescribed number of prayers; you also have to do good, such as volunteer at a soup kitchen, help resettle refugees or donate to a worthy cause. …
At the core of indulgences is sin, which can either lead to eternal punishment — i.e., hell — or time spent in purgatory, a place of suffering where imperfections are scrubbed away in preparation for entering heaven. Confession erases eternal punishment, but temporal punishment remains. Plenary, or full, indulgences are the equivalent of a get-out-of-purgatory-free card. Partial indulgences simply shorten your stay.
From: N.Y. Times, For Catholics, a Door to Absolution Is Reopened
According to church teaching, even after sinners are absolved in the confessional and say their Our Fathers or Hail Marys as penance, they still face punishment after death, in Purgatory, before they can enter heaven. In exchange for certain prayers, devotions or pilgrimages in special years, a Catholic can receive an indulgence, which reduces or erases that punishment instantly, with no formal ceremony or sacrament.
There are partial indulgences, which reduce purgatorial time by a certain number of days or years, and plenary indulgences, which eliminate all of it, until another sin is committed. You can get one for yourself, or for someone who is dead. You cannot buy one — the church outlawed the sale of indulgences in 1567 — but charitable contributions, combined with other acts, can help you earn one. There is a limit of one plenary indulgence per sinner per day.