Indulgences: Plenary and Partial - Do You Believe In Them?

United States
May 6, 2007 10:19pm CST
I looked both up today via Google because I was so intrigued with the idea. I had just come from my local dumpster, where I picked up two padded envelopes and an eBay shipping box. You wouldn't believe what I save in packing materials simply by reusing used boxes and packing that I find. In one of the envelopes was a receipt for a St. Theresa medal, and two cards for saints prayers. On the back of the St. Theresa card it said, "For Plenary Indulgence, say this prayer every day for one month. Plenary Indulgence for 300 days." Awwlll right... "So what the **** is a Plenary Indulgence," I thought to myself. Turns out that a plenary indulgence offers the receiver a chance to wipe out a particular sin. This differs from a partial indulgence, which also required confession to obliterate the sin. Now some sights said that only a bishop can infer this plenary indulgence...and it also said that communion and additional prayers (one Our Father, one Hail Mary) were needed. I'm amazed. Do people in today's day and age actually believe in indulgences? I have performed historical restoration based upon the times when Popes and Bishops sold indulgences. I find it quite strange that people today might believe that they can lessen their time in Purgatory simply by saying heaps of prayers everyday. Why didn't they teach us about this in CCD, anyway? I'm confused.
1 response
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
14 May 07
Yes, I believe in indulgences ( and not just in the sense of having an extra scoop of ice cream!) An indulgence does not actually remove or forgive any of your sins...what it does (under the usual conditions) is take care of some of the temporal punishment that is due them. A Plenary indulgence will clean the slate of any temporal punishments that are due. Indulgences were not sold. They could not be. Blessings become null and void if they are bought or sold. It is a sin by the name of Simony to partake in such. Although I do not deny that there were some very wicked persons who did attempt such - there is also many false report of it. People could receive an indulgence by the sacrifice of almsgiving. This practice while in itself is not wicked could certainly hold the potential for abuse or if not abuse it could cause a scandal and this is why the practice was discontinued.. There is much that was not taught in CCD in the 70s and later. Remember this was the era that the new mass was introduced and many changes took place with a lot of protestant influences. In fact my memory of CCD was that I thought it stood for "Chocolate Covered Donuts" because that is what we seemed to do each week during class. Eat donuts and sing songs. I did not start truly learning the beautiful and rich faith of our fathers until I was in my mid 20s. We must be careful to not fall into the trap of modernism which teaches "We know better now than they did back then" if indulgences were true then, they are true today.