In the Roman Catholic church, the indulgence (of the Latin indulgere , “to grant”) is the remission total or partial in front of God of the temporal sorrow incurred because of a sin.
The canonical Code of right devotes to indulgences chapter IV of bearing title IV on the sacrament of penitence. Gun 992 defines indulgence as: “the remission in front of God of the temporal sorrow due for the sins whose fault is already unobtrusive, remission that the faithful good laid out obtains under certain determined conditions, by the action from the Church, which, as dispenser of the redemption, distributes and applies by its authority the treasure of satisfactions of Christ and the saints. ”
Effects of indulgence
In the Catholic doctrines , the Péché is erased by the sacrament of the reconciliation. But this sacrament does not remove the temporal sorrow due to the sin, which generally results in a time of Purgatoire. This temporal sorrow can be attenuated even unobtrusive by indulgence. Indulgence is known as partial or plenary, according to whether it releases partially or completely of the temporal sorrow due for the sin.
With regard to partial indulgences, they amounted traditionally in days. It was the number of days of penitence to which the indulgenciée action corresponded. In 1967 Paul VI removed the reference to a number of days or years given.
Origin of the practice
Its practice, inherited the Roman law, goes back to the 3rd century. It is then a question of reinstating in the bosom of the church the Christians having apostasy during persecutions. At the 12th century, it receives a legal definition in the pontifical Décrétale S: a distinction is clearly established between the discharge, is reserved for God, and the indulgence, which allows the reconciliation with the Church. Indulgence is n the other hand obtained act of piety (pilgrimage, prayer, mortification) carried out for this purpose in a spirit of repentance - she addresses to those which are vere penitentibus and confessis , according to the set formula as from the 12th century.
Theoretically, there does not exist proportion between the fault and this act of piety: indulgence is famous being the effect of the Communion of the saints. In practice, it goes from there well differently, partly under the influence of cruel civilizations, whose legislation is in fact a scale of repairs, and who tariff each fault. Indulgences are copied then on the pénitenciels, these handbooks come from Ireland which fix for each type of fault so much of days of mortification. Less long, indulgence tends to replace in particular physical penitence for dying.
As of this time, one records the first abuses, mainly the Simonie: the faithful ones haggle over near the priest an act of charity, often sounding and stumbling. The councils of 10th and the 11th century thus endeavor to limit the share of appreciation of the priest by fixing general scales. Indulgence becomes at this period a pontifical weapon: the plenary indulgence appears in the middle of the 11th century; it is then employed to encourage the crusade in Spain, i.e. the Reconquista. During the Middle Ages, the “course” of indulgence does not cease dropping: one less and less needs efforts to obtain an increasingly broad indulgence. Thus, one comes from there to grant a plenary indulgence for the observation of a sworn peace, which amounts rewarding the absence for sin. One currency also of the exemptions with various obligations, sums thus collected financing religious buildings or allowing certain prelates to carry out large train. Thus the Tour of butter of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame of Rouen owes her nickname with the sale of the exemptions granted to consume fat contents during the Lent.
Criticisms of the Reform and the Lights
Indulgences are denounced initially by John Wyclif (1320-1384) and Jan Hus (1369-1415), which calls into question the abuses. Among those, one can quote the indulgence granted in 1506 for whoever would help with the construction of the news Basilique Saint-Pierre. It is also the time of the scandal linked to Dominican the Johann Tetzel, charged into 1516-1517 to sell indulgences in the name of Albrecht de Brandebourg, Archevêque of Mainz, interested in the sale by a commission of 50% promised by the Curia. The slogan then is allotted to him: “ Sobald das Geld im Kasten klingt, Die Seel' aus dem Fegfeuer springt ” (“at once that the money tinkles in the case, the heart flies away Purgatory”)…
Martin Luther tackles, as for him, the principle even of the practice in its 95 Theses of Wittenberg: according to him, only God can justify the sinners. He denounces at the same time indulgences for the hearts of the Purgatory (theses 8-29) and those in favor of the alive ones (theses 30-68). In the first case, deaths having died, they are not held any more by the canonical decrees - in the long term, it is the Purgatory itself which is called into question. On this subject, Luther also protests against the bargaining of indulgences and shows the Church to benefit from the fear of the Hell: “They preach the man, those which say that at once the money thrown in the case will tinkle, at once the heart will fly away Purgatoire” (thesis 27). In the second case, Luther stresses that the repentance only is worth remission of the sorrows, without no need for letters of indulgence. On the contrary, according to him, indulgence diverts the sinners of their true duty, charity and penitence. The “quarrel of Indulgences” is thus one of the catholic causes of the Schisme between and Protestant.
At the time of the Lights, Voltaire can still devote the article “Atonement” of philosophical sound Dictionnaire (1764) to the history and the criticism of the practice. It correctly recalls of it the origin with the “Barbarians who destroyed the Roman Empire” and shows the pope Jean XII which, according to him, “made money of all”, to have applied the reasoning to the sins: “After composehaving thus composed with the men, one composed then with God”. However, criticism weighs especially on the abuses which sully the practice, and dyes Gallicanisme: Voltaire shows this tariffing not to be approved by a council.
After the Reform
The Catholic church will apply following the Reform a brake at the abuses more shouting. Thus, Leon X, in his judgment of Luther, recalls the distinction between remission of the temporal sorrow and remission of the sin strictly speaking. Nevertheless, the practice perdure until our days, framed initially by the Congregation of indulgences, created by Clement VIII (1592-1605) and integrated into the Roman Curia by Clement IX in 1669 - its competences are transferred in 1908 to the the Holy Office then in 1917 to the apostolic Pénitencerie, which always has the load of it.
Until the council the Vatican II, the Paroissien S still comprise, in the chapter devoted to the prayers, a section on indulgences. Thus, the Paroissien of faithful the publishes a list of indulgenciées invocations: invocations “My Jesus, mercy! ” or “failing Heart of Jesus, be my love” correspond to 100 days of penitence, while “Holy Joseph, owner of the good death, request for us” is equivalent to 300 days.
The doctrines of indulgences were recalled by the council the Vatican II then the apostolic Constitution Indulgentiarum doctrina of Paul VI, included in the Code of right canonical of 1983. In the Catechism of the Catholic church of 1992 (§ 1471-1479), the Church reaffirms its right to grant indulgences, “under the terms of the capacity to bind and untie which was granted to him by Jesus Christ” (§ 1478). It specifies that indulgence releases only from the “temporal sorrow” of the sin and not of the “eternal sorrow” - i.e. of the deprivation of the “eternal life”, of the communion with God. Again, she recalls that indulgence is granted to the sinner not under the terms of his penitences alone, but of the communion of the saints.
If the practice is less current than in the past, it remains clearly: thus, the Catéchisme always recommends, with the alms and works of penitence, the use of indulgences in favor of the late ones (§ 1032). Principal indulgence is granted at the time of the jubilee, of which it is the “one of the components” according to Jean-Paul II (bubble of indiction Incarnationis mysterium , § 9.1). It is at the time of the jubilee of year 2000 that apostolic Pénitencerie judged good to point out the conditions of acquisition of indulgence. In all the cases - plenary or partial indulgence -, the faithful one must be in “a state of grace”.
For the plenary indulgence, which obtaining is limited to once per day, it must:
to have the desire to gain indulgence,
- to be detached completely from the sin, even venial,
- to confess in the eight days (before or after indulgence),
- communier the very same day,
- to request according to the intentions indicated by the pope, or to request with the intentions of the pope,
- to achieve the action to which indulgence in time is attached prescribed (if indulgence is attached to one day or a period private individuals).
If these actions only are partially filled, or that the faithful one does not have the required provisions of the heart, indulgence is only partial.
One is reminded that also indulgence can be applied only to oneself or the “hearts of the Purgatory” (by mode of vote), and not with other alive people.
Some acts to which are attached a plenary indulgence
For oneself or the late ones (by vote)
to recite the chain in a church or with several.
- half an hour of worship.
- half an hour of reading of the Bible.
- to receive the papal blessing Urbi and orbi, with Easter, Christmas, or at the time of the election of a new pope, even by audio-visual means.
Only for the late ones
To visit a cemetery to request there for the late ones. Indulgence gagnable daily between 1st and on November 8th.
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