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95 Theses, Part III, The Search For Crock

11. When canonical penalties were changed and made to apply to purgatory, surely it would seem that tares were sown while the bishops were asleep. My comment: I have no idea what penalties he might be talking about, but Purgatory probably isn't a party in the first place.

12. In former days, the canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution was pronounced; and were intended to be tests of true contrition. My comment: Penances are not, strictly speaking, tests for contrition. They relate to satisfaction for the temporal (real world consequences) of our sins. The vertical aspect of them is pardoned by the priest acting in the person of Christ. In other words, "the former days" were screwed up from the hop, if that is a true representation of them.

13. Death puts an end to all the claims of the Church; even the dying are already dead to the canon laws, and are no longer bound by them. My comment: Except for particular Judgment, and (hopefully) Purgatory. (or not)

14. Defective piety or love in a dying person is necessarily accompanied by great fear, which is greatest where the piety or love is least. My comment: Is this an objection, or a random pastoral comment? Those with moral certainty (and not an unreasonable expectation of certain knowledge in the absence of a private revelation) have no reason to fear.

15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, whatever else might be said, to constitute the pain of purgatory, since it approaches very closely to the horror of despair. My comment: Purgatory is not about despair; it's about hope. If you go to Purgatory, you win! Purgatory is only for the elect. 







Comments

Historically speaking, you have to remember Luther was not responding to the best, most beautiful forms of doctrine, but rather to the preaching that preachers like Tetzel were authorized (by the church) to do. Luther still thinks of himself as Catholic here, so when he frames something incorrectly with regard to modern Catholic theology, some of that is the lack of clarity pre-Trent and some of that is popular distortions of theology being taught by parish priests and itinerants.

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