A DOCTRINAL CATECHISM; WHEREIN DIVERS POINTS OF
CATHOLIC FAITH AND PRACTICE ASSAILED BY
MODERN HERETICS ARE SUSTAINED BY AN APPEAL TO THE
HOLY SCRIPTURES, THE TESTIMONY OF THE ANCIENT FATHERS ,
AND THE DICTATES OF REASON by the R E V. S T E P H E N K E E N A N.
CHAPTER I. – AUTHORITY OF CHURCH
Q. What is an Indulgence?
A. It is a remission of the temporal punishment due to venial sin, and also to mortal sin, after the eternal punishment has been remitted, as mentioned above in the case of David.
Q. Are sins remitted by Indulgences?
A. No; sins are remitted by the sacraments of baptism and penance. [Confession Reconciliation]
Q. Has the Church the power to remit temporal punishments?
A. When the applicant or sinner is properly disposed, the Church has power to remove every obstacle to his admission into heaven: but a debt of temporal punishment, due to God’s justice, is a temporary obstacle; therefore the Church has power to remove it.
That this proposition is most certainly true, is evident from Matth., chap, xviii, 18: “Whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.”
From which it is more than evident, that the powers of the Church, over sin and its punishment, are not in any way confined or restrained, provided always, that the sinner have the proper dispositions; and if the Church has power to remit the sin itself, (as beyond all doubt she has,) she has surely power to remit the temporal punishment due to sin.
Q. Are Indulgences of very ancient date to the Church?
A. Yes; since the very commencement of Christianity.
Q. Give us a clear instance of their early use.
A. St. Paul granted an Indulgence to the incestuous Corinthian, by the remission of the temporal punishment to which he had subjected that public sinner; and the Apostle declares, that it is by the power of Christ, and in Christ’s person, he acts in this matter—2 Cor. chap, ii, 10:—”For what I have pardoned, if I have pardoned any thing, for your sake have I done it in the person of Christ.”
Q. Is this temporal punishment always inflicted in this life?
A. It may be inflicted here, or in Purgatory hereafter; and if not discharged here, it must be discharged hereafter.
Q. Do the Fathers of the early Church speak of Indulgences or the remission of temporal punishment?
A. Yes; St. Cyprian, Epist. 18th, says, that the bishops of the Church granted (like St: Paul) a remission of the canonical penances and penitential works, by the mediation of holy confessors or martyrs, ”the abundance of whose merits might supply for the want of their brethren,” according to that of St. Paul: “I now rejoice in suffering for you.”— (Col. 1: 24).
Q. Have any Councils spoken on this subject?
A. The Council of Ancyra (anno 314) orders the bishops, “having considered the conduct of the penitents, to show them mercy, or to lengthen the time of their penance.”
Q. What inference do you draw from this practice of the Church in ancient times?
A. That, in the remission of the canonical penances, she also remitted so much of the temporal punishment before God.
Q. Why? what connection is there between the one and the other?
A. The canonical penances were indicted by God’s Church as a temporal punishment due to sin. This as inflicted by his Church is accepted by God, either as the whole or a part of what his justice demands; for what ever his true Church does, is done by himself—“As my Father sent me. even so I send you;” “Whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed also in heaven; “He that hear you, hear me;” & (Jn20:21)
Q. Can any Indulgence or leave be granted by any power on earth to commit sin?
A. No; nor can God himself give leave to commit what is of its own nature sinful.
Q. Does not the Pope give leave to tell lies, and commit perjury, and make mental reservations, and be disloyal, and persecute Protestants, when these appear to him to promote the Catholic cause?
A. No; these are all Protestant calumnies.
Q. Would dispensations or pardons granted for any such ends have any validity?
A. No; they would only add sacrilege to blasphemy.
Q. Is it an article of the Catholic faith, that temporal punishment is remitted before God by an Indulgence?
A. It is not so defined in express terms; but by what is defined on the subject, and by necessary consequence from doctrines, bearing on this, it is and always has been held by Catholics as substantially of faith, although not formally so defined.
Q. What has the Church decided on this subject?
A. That God has left in his Church the power of granting Indulgences, and that Indulgences are extremely advantageous to the Christian people. Decret.1, de Indul. Sess. 25.
Q. Is there any thing in this decree with which Protestants can reasonably be offended?
A. No; for they themselves grant Indulgences of their own, as is evident from the history of the cutty stool. [hypocrite schismatics] For particular sins, those who were rich were mulcted in a pecuniary fine, and those who were poor were obliged to give satisfaction before the whole congregation. Now, either this was of use to the sinner or it was not; if the former, it was an Indulgence; if the latter, then for what purpose was it practiced? For further proof of the practice of the ancient and pure Church, see Coun, of Nice (anno 325,) Can. xii, Conc. Gen. T. 2
CityofGod.blog comments: Protestants since Martin Luther do not recognize sin as needing remission, yet still criticize the Church’s authority to grant indulgences as well as No belief in Purgatory, as Christ “saved us all” once and for all” “It is finished”, many say. So what is at the heart of this criticism? It is my contention, that this is a form of SIN, against the Bride of His Church, similar to that of non-believers who profane the Holy Name, adding one more CONDEMNATION to their unremitted souls.
(see prior post 4/18/19 INDULGENCES on “Canon Law”)
REFUTING PROTESTANTISM WITH DOCTRINAL CATECHISM 1846 continues next with… #11 Head of the Church 1846
RACCOLTA: PREFACE – 1. this collection includes general indulgences that have been granted by the Supreme Pontiffs for the whole world down to the end of the year 1949, either in favor of all the faithful or of certain groups of the faithful, for the gaining of which these is not required a blessing imparted by a priest, religious or secular ( having the proper faculties), to religious articles, or a visit to some definite pious place, pr enrollment in some pious sodality.
“Holy Archangel Michael defend us in battle, that we may not perish in the tremendous judgement.” An indulgence Leo XIII, by rescript of the S Congr. of Indulgences, Aug 19, 1893.