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Monday, June 30, 2014

95 Theses XVIII: Heresy, Interrupted

86. Again: since the pope's income to-day is larger than that of the wealthiest of wealthy men, why does he not build this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of indigent believers? My comment: This has the suspicious feel of denying the widow the right to give her mite. St. Peter's is not the pope's personal Shake Shack; it's a gift to the entire Church.

87. Again: What does the pope remit or dispense to people who, by their perfect repentance, have a right to plenary remission or dispensation? My comment: I'm sure this happens, but who would know for certain, besides God? And if you're mad because we can't know, this is why we're not supposed to go on a mythic quest for absolute assurance. Personally, it'd be a fruitless effort.

88. Again: Surely a greater good could be done to the church if the pope were to bestow these remissions and dispensations, not once, as now, but a hundred times a day, for the benefit of any believer whatever. My comment: Indulgences have surely increased since then, and this is to the good. Let us never tire of doing good.

89. What the pope seeks by indulgences is not money, but rather the salvation of souls; why then does he suspend the letters and indulgences formerly conceded, and still as efficacious as ever? My comment: The one who dares to claim that indulgences increase presumption with no evidence of that reality is now accosting the Holy Father for being stingy!

90. These questions are serious matters of conscience to the laity. To suppress them by force alone, and not to refute them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christian people unhappy. My comment: It looks rather like these concerns themselves were aired rather freely. Didn't you actually get in trouble for all the non-indulgence related stuff you said?


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