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Monday, June 30, 2014

95 Theses XVII: The Bonfire Of The Heresies

81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult for learned men to guard the respect due to the pope against false accusations, or at least from the keen criticisms of the laity. My comment: Burning the papal bull of my excommunication would be my first step in guarding the reverence due to the pope, and blunting the keen criticisms of the laity. Or not.

82. They ask, e.g.: Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter's church, a very minor purpose. My comment: Is there any actual evidence that St. Peter's was built with ill-gotten money? Moreover, the pope cannot release anyone from anything, apart from God's will.

83. Again: Why should funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continue to be said? And why does not the pope repay, or permit to be repaid, the benefactions instituted for these purposes, since it is wrong to pray for those souls who are now redeemed? My comment: Because unless they are saints, we don't know for sure that they aren't there.

84. Again: Surely this is a new sort of compassion, on the part of God and the pope, when an impious man, an enemy of God, is allowed to pay money to redeem a devout soul, a friend of God; while yet that devout and beloved soul is not allowed to be redeemed without payment, for love's sake, and just because of its need of redemption. My comment: On the contrary; the prayers, works, and sufferings of an (culpably) impious man are fruitless, unless they have as their aim his own conversion. Do you keep a list of impious people the Church should know about?

85. Again: Why are the penitential canon laws, which in fact, if not in practice, have long been obsolete and dead in themselves,—why are they, to-day, still used in imposing fines in money, through the granting of indulgences, as if all the penitential canons were fully operative? My comment: I actually haven't the foggiest about these "canons" to which he refers, but I will say that Church law doesn't disappear just because it's ignored, and at that, I shudder. Lord, have mercy!

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