Martin Luthers 95 Indulgences

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Martin Luthers 95 Indulgences

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Martin Luther's 95 Theses - Episode 21 - Lineage

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The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self that is, true inner repentance , namely till our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. The pope neither desires nor is able to remit any penalties except those imposed by his own authority or that of the canons. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God; or, to be sure, by remitting guilt in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in these cases were disregarded, the guilt would certainly remain unforgiven.

God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to the canons themselves, nothing should be imposed on the dying. Therefore the Holy Spirit through the pope is kind to us insofar as the pope in his decrees always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity. Those priests act ignorantly and wickedly who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penalties for purgatory.

Those tares of changing the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory were evidently sown while the bishops slept Matthew In former times canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition. The dying are freed by death from all penalties, are already dead as far as the canon laws are concerned, and have a right to be released from them. Imperfect piety or love on the part of the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater the fear. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, to say nothing of other things, to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.

Hell, purgatory, and heaven seem to differ the same as despair, fear, and assurance of salvation. It seems as though for the souls in purgatory fear should necessarily decrease and love increase. Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or by Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love. Nor does it seem proved that souls in purgatory, at least not all of them, are certain and assured of their own salvation, even if we ourselves may be entirely certain of it.

Therefore the pope, when he uses the words "plenary remission of all penalties," does not actually mean "all penalties," but only those imposed by himself. Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences. As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life. If remission of all penalties whatsoever could be granted to anyone at all, certainly it would be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few. For this reason most people are necessarily deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalty. That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.

The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend. No one is sure of the integrity of his own contrition, much less of having received plenary remission. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.

Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers. Men must especially be on guard against those who say that the pope's pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to him. For the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man. They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine. Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.

Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters. Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said Thesis 6 , the proclamation of the divine remission. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the bounty of indulgences and the need of true contrition.

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At the time of his death, Phoenix was considered one of the most promising actors of his Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. Indira Gandhi, the prime minister of India, is assassinated in New Delhi by two of her own bodyguards. Luther did not believe that the pope could know whether or not the pardon would be granted and felt the church was essentially stealing from the people. Luther's "95 Theses" treatise was a way of organizing his thinking. It consisted of several statements and questions.

Luther did not believe that many of the daily practices in the Catholic Church could be theologically justified.

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