“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.” (1983 Catechism ¶ 1471)
In short, when you go to the confessional-your sins are ‘forgiven’ but the ‘punishment’ is not-and you therefore still have to go through the punishment-hence an indulgence-a further forgiveness of the punishment.
Here the Catholic Church has clearly gone beyond her mandate and replaced Christ. A sinner has to under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church be forgiven an impending punishment of sins.
Christ says, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6:
John 8:36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Christ has died for your redemption-if He sets you free you are FREE!!
Reading on they say; Sin has both eternal consequences and temporal consequences. As an example, if I were to take an innocent life, and died unrepentant, I would go to Hell. My going to Hell would be the eternal consequence of my sin. (But we know there is nothing like hell) Will people burn forever in hell fire?
If I were to repent and receive forgiveness through the Sacrament of Penance, the eternal consequences — are no longer an issue because I receive the effects of His atoning Sacrifice (I will have been justified) when I reconcile with the Church through a good Confession. But I still have to pay for the temporal consequences of my sin because God is not only merciful, He is just.
The temporal effects of repented sins that are not paid for in life through the effects of natural law, personal penance, penance given by the priest at Confession, or mystical penances given to me by God, are paid for in Purgatory. St. Augustine, in City of God (A.D. 419),
See how the catholic Church is holding her faithful in ‘bondage’ to the traditions of the church and mere men! But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:9
Someone is going to church to find Christ in repentance and the church yolks the person more ‘debts’ to be paid. So it is not enough for them to say you are forgiven, they add a scary ‘purgatory’ where people will go after death to ‘face’ a punishment for their ‘forgiven’ sins before they enter heaven.
Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter, but all of them before that last and strictest judgment.
Purgation — the process of making satisfaction for debt caused by sin so that we may become perfect, divinized, and enter Heaven —
When we pray, give alms, fast, offer up our sufferings, etc. — we literally strengthen the Body of Christ in a mystical way! Christ Himself and all the Saints of 2,000 years (by the grace of Christ) have built up His Mystical Body and laid up a “treasury of merit” or “spiritual treasury,” as it is also called. In the same way we or others detract from the Body of Christ through sin, we and others add to this treasury — and receive the fruits thereof when we receive an indulgence, for we are one in the Body of Christ:
In other words, we are supposed to ‘do’ some stuff-good stuff-whereby a certain ‘bank’ or ‘treasury’ accounts our good works so that in that we get this ‘indulgence’. So it is like every time you do good you are ‘depositing’ these good deeds into your account so that when you die-the good is accounted to you in saving you some time from purgatory.
God plainly denies man’s will or efforts in salvation (John 1:13; Rom 9:16). These two texts are enough for those who tremble at God’s word. They are plain, powerful, and conclusive. Yet the first is generally ignored when using John 1:12, and the second is quite unknown to most men.
God also clearly denies man’s works in his own salvation (Rom 4:6; 9:11; Eph 2:9; II Tim 1:9; Tit 3:5). If man’s works were included, God would be in debt to man; and He is not (Rom 4:4). If they were included, man would have reason to boast; but God does not allow it (Eph 2:9). If they were included, grace would no longer mean grace, for grace excludes works (Rom 11:6).
God saves men while they are dead in sins, not while they are willing or working (Rom 5:6-10; Eph 2:1- 5). He saves them while they are enemies, not while they are friends seeking Him. Salvation is a free gift, so God is never repaying man (Rom 5:18; 6:23; 4:4; 11:35).
That the Church was given the power to forgive the eternal effects of sin through the Sacrament of Penance makes it easier to understand how the Church also has the power to alleviate the lesser, temporal effects of sin. The Church whose priests were given the authority by Christ to forgive the guilt of sin and thereby, by the Blood of Christ, eliminate the eternal punishments for sin, surely also has the authority to pardon the temporal punishments of sin.
Have you seen that blatant blasphemy?
The Jewish scholars thought in their hearts that Jesus had spoken blasphemy, because only God can forgive sin (Mark 2:6,7; Luke 5:21). It is true that only God can forgive sin. Hence, it is blasphemy today when men claim that they can directly forgive the sins of people who come to them to confess sin.
But note that Jesus had stated His reason for healing the man. It was not primarily an act of mercy on the man, though mercy for his health was no doubt involved. But more than that, He said it was so they would know He had power on earth to forgive sins. It would confirm His word and prove the truthfulness of His claims.
The point is that, whether He spoke a man’s sins forgiven or healed him of paralysis, either act would require the power and authority of God. Hence, if Jesus claimed He could forgive sins and then raised the man, this ought to prove to any honest mind that His claim to forgive sins was also valid.
Lets look at some points here they allude;
- the Church forgives the guilt through the Sacrament of Confession, thereby eliminating the eternal consequences by the grace of Christ, and restoring the penitent from being a “dead member” of the Church to a “living member” of the Church-We know that only Christ can forgive sins (not just guilt) but sins.
- Holy Mother Church sets out certain prayers and works to be offered under certain conditions which will either pay for some of the debt owed to God (partial indulgence) or all of the debt owed to God (plenary indulgence)-The Church here is giving the faithful a ‘bill’ to pay in terms of ‘prayers and works’ so that either the full punishment is paid for or part of the punishment is paid for.
- the faithful performs the prescribed actions, under the prescribed conditions, to gain an indulgence and the Church mitigates punishment incurred (temporal penalties) by opening the treasury of merit and applying those merits to the faithful. Now the church probably looks at what you have done and decides if your punishment has been ‘paid in full or not’
Now, suppose there are two children. One child steals the candy bar and then dies. The other child — his brother, say — wants to help pay his dead brother’s debt, so he pays back the store in the name of his dead brother.
In this way, the Catholic can offer the benefits of the indulgence to the souls in Purgatory. Indulgences can only be applied to oneself or to a soul in Purgatory, not to another living person. When applied to the souls in Purgatory, it is done only by petition to God, for those no longer of the Church Militant (the living members of the Church on Earth) are not subject to the Church hierarchs who’ve been given the authority to grant indulgences.
Can you believe such doctrine? And here is where Catholics pray for the dead-to save them from the ‘punishment’ in purgatory. Please read –State of the Dead
An indulgence can be either partial. A partial indulgences removes part of the temporal punishment due for sins. A plenary indulgence removes all of it. This punishment may come either in this life, in the form of various sufferings, or in the next life, in purgatory. What we don’t get rid of here we suffer there.