October 22, 2019

Apostolic Authority Indulgences

M. Luther’s 1st Mass on May 2nd, as Augustinian Monk

[ X.] INDULGENCES

#1471 The doctrine of Indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance. (Luther denied this sacrament, and existence of purgatory; yet was furious over Indulgences?) Apparently he denied this house of straw too? (Phil2:12) – “With fear and trembling workout your salvation”)

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 rich, as ministers of redemption , dispenses, and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. (Paul VI, Apostolic constitution, Indulgentarium Doctrina,) [SEE ALSO – #1472-1473 punishment of sin #1474-1477 Communion of Saints] 

Obtaining indulgence from God through the Church:  (Jn20:21-23)

#1478 An indulgence is obtained through the Church who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervene in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the Church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance and charity. [Indulgentiarum Doctrina, 5. (see Jn20:21-23), [981]


“Sacratissimo uti culmine” of John XXII ,1322 AD
(This holy indulgence I therefore accept; I confirm and ratify it on earth, just as Jesus Christ has graciously granted it in heaven on account of the merits of the Virgin Mother).

The Sabbatine privilege, as it appears in the summary approved by the Congregation of Indulgences on 4 July, 1908. It is noteworthy that the Bull of John XXII, which was still mentioned in the previous summary approved on 1 December, 1866, is no longer referred to (cf. “Rescript. authent. S.C. Indulg.”, Ratisbon, 1885, p. 475). Among the privileges, which are mentioned after the indulgences, the following occurs in the first place: “The privilege of Pope John XXII, commonly [vulgo] known as the Sabbatine, which was approved and confirmed by Clement VII (“Ex clementi”, 12 August 1530), St Pius V (“Superna dispositione”, 18 Feb., 1566), Gregory XIII (“Ut laudes”, 18 Sept., 1577), and others, and also by the Holy Roman General Inquisition under Paul V on 20 January, 1613, in a Decree to the following effect:

#1479 Since the faithful departed ( Church Suffering), now being purified are also members of the same Communion of Saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted. [#1032]

The indulgences known as Apostolic or Apostolical are those which the Roman Pontiff, the successor of the Prince of the Apostles, attaches to the crosses, crucifixes, chaplets, rosaries, images, and medals which he blesses, either with his own hand or by those to whom he has delegated this faculty. The principles set forth in the general article on indulgences apply here also. But since these Apostolic indulgences are among the most frequent and abundant of those now in use throughout the Church, they seem to require a separate and more detailed treatment. As the name implies, they are indulgences granted by the pope himself. Some of them are plenary, and others are partial indulgences. It may be observed that, the possession of the cross or medal or other indulgenced object is not the sole or immediate condition for gaining the indulgences thereto were to by the blessing of the Holy Father or his delegate. But the possession enables the recipient to gain the various indulgences on the performance of certain prescribed good works or acts of piety. In this respect the possession of the object may be regarded as analogous to the local or personal limitation of other indulgences. For in blessing the objects presented to him, the Holy Father thereby grants the indulgences indulgences, not to all the faithful indiscriminately, but to certain persons, to wit the actual or prospective possessors of these crosses, medals, etc., which may thus be regarded as the marks or tokens distinguishing those person to whom this special privilege is given. At the same time, since it is open to all the faithful to obtain such blessed objects, especially now, when the faculty for giving this blessing is so readily granted to the clergy throughout the world, the Apostolic indulgences can hardly be reckoned with those that are merely local or personal.


Miraculous Medal , St. Catherine, Daughters of Charity 1830
On 23 July, 1894, Pope Leo XIII,

Although the popes have been in the habit of granting indulgences from a much earlier date, some of them having an analogous limitation or connection with the holding or wearing of a blessed object, the Apostolic indulgences, as we now know them, date only from the year 1587-just a lifetime after the publication of Luther’s famous indulgences theses against indulgences. {Typically the Church unless it feels the need to define a teaching is silent as these are “accepted by the faithful”, in this case many docrtines were shortly defined, as the protestant movement denied the Apostolic teachings.} And a curious interest attaches to the first origin of this familiar practice. Before that date popes had simply blessed medals or other objects presented to them for that purpose. But as Pope Sixtus V sets forth in his Bull “Laudemus viros gloriosos” (1 December, 1587), the workmen engaged in his restoration and adornment of the Lateran Basilica some very old walls, had accidentally brought to light a number of ancient coins bearing on one side a cross and on the other the likeness of one or other of the early Christian emperors. This remarkable discovery led the pontiff, in accordance with the opening words of his Bull, to sing the praises of those old rulers of Christendom, such as Constantine, Theodosius, and Marcianus. And, by a happy thought, he made their old coins again pass current, though bearing, as be fitted their new life, not an earthly but a heavenly and spiritual value. In other words, he granted a number of indulgences, on the performance of certain pious works, to all who became possessors of the old coins enriched with this new blessing. The list of special indulgences set forth in this Bull as thus attached to those coins of the Christians is the first instance of the Apostolic indulgences which the popes now attach to the medals, etc. presented for their benediction. It must not be supposed, however, that the Apostolical indulgences, now so generally given in this familiar manner, are in all respects the same as those granted on this special occasion by Pope Sixtus V. A comparison of the aforesaid Bull “Laudemus viros gloriosos” with the list in the instruction annexed to the customary faculty for blessing rosaries etc., attaching indulgences thereto, will show many points of difference, both in the extent of the indulgences and in the good works prescribed as conditions for gaining them. And it will be found, as might have been anticipated, that in some cases the indulgences given in the Sixtine Bull are more abundant than the others. In at least one important point both lists are in agreement. Thus it will be seen that in both cases a plenary indulgence may be gained by those who devoutly invoke the Holy Name of Jesus at the hour of death (in mortis articulo). But, on the other hand, the plenary indulgences for confession and Communion which the possessors of the Lateran coins could apparently gain on any day can only be gained by holders of ordinary indulgenced objects on certain great festivals, and that on the fixed condition of reciting certain prayers.

APA citation. Kent, W. (1910). Apostolic Indulgences. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 6, 2019 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07788a.htm Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York. Last Updated 01/19/2019

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