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Monday, June 23, 2014

95 Theses VIII: The Children Of The Heresy

36. Any Christian whatsoever, who is truly repentant, enjoys plenary remission from penalty and guilt, and this is given him without letters of indulgence. My comment: This is very subtle, but he's denying the whole sacramental system here. No Catholic could say this in 1517 without being in heresy.

37. Any true Christian whatsoever, living or dead, participates in all the benefits of Christ and the Church; and this participation is granted to him by God without letters of indulgence. My comment: Wrong. Indulgences are one of the means of participation in the life of grace. You can say 'participation' all you like, but if you deny the Church's intercession, and the sacramental system, you're not thinking like a Catholic.

38. Yet the pope's remission and dispensation are in no way to be despised, for, as already said, they proclaim the divine remission. My comment: This sounds good, but it's wrong. A priest or bishop does not merely announce the divine remission; he effects it. That's why Holy Orders are so important.

39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, to extol to the people the great bounty contained in the indulgences, while, at the same time, praising contrition as a virtue. My comment: I don't seem to be having trouble.

40. A truly contrite sinner seeks out, and loves to pay, the penalties of his sins; whereas the very multitude of indulgences dulls men's consciences, and tends to make them hate the penalties. My comment: The Church ought to be the judge of true contrition. The abuse of a thing does not negate its proper use, either.

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