The Official Blog of the Archer of the Forest
In response to a comment that I chose not to post because it was a link that I thought was slanted and not on the topic of this entry, I would note that there is a common misconception that, according to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, plenary indulgences forgive sins. This is not true. The Catholic Church teaches instead that indulgences only relieve the temporal punishment due because of the sins, and that a person is still required to have his grave sins absolved, ordinarily through the sacrament of Confession, to receive salvation.Since those who have died in the state of grace (with all mortal sins forgiven) are members of the communion of saints, it is the belief of the Catholic Church that the living can help those whose purification from their sins is not yet completed not only by prayer but also by obtaining indulgences for them. Since the Church on earth has no jurisdiction over the dead, indulgences can be gained for them only per modum suffragii, i.e. by an act of intercession.An indulgence may be plenary or partial, according as it remits all or only part of the temporal punishment that at that moment is due for sin. To gain a plenary indulgence, a person must exclude all attachment to sin of any kind, even venial sin, must perform the work or say the prayer for which the indulgence is granted, and must also fulfill the three conditions of sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and praying for the intentions of the Pope.The minimum condition for gaining a partial indulgence is to be contrite in heart: on this condition, a Catholic who performs the work or recites the prayer in question is granted, through the Church, remission of temporal punishment of the same worth as is obtained by the person's own action.
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