Pope Benedict XVI authorises special indulgences

Philip’s article, Remembering Reformation Day, described how indulgences played a big role in triggering the Protestant Reformation. Apparently, indulgences are still part and parcel of the Roman Catholic faith.

Last week, the Pope announced special indulgences to mark the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Virgin Mary in Lourdes. (BBC: Pope approves Lourdes indulgences)

According to this announcement, to earn this indulgence one must:

  • Visit the shrine at Lourdes between 8 December 2007 and 8 December 2008 or
  • Worship at any place of worship dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes during the period 2-11 February 2008

If you earn the indulgence, it is believed, you will reduce your time in purgatory. Incidentally, the Bible does not support the concept of purgatory.


  1. Scripture does support the “concept of pugatory” It’s nothing more than a State After Death of Suffering and Forgiveness. I’ve listed the numerous places in the Bible where it is referenced:
    Matt. 5:25,18:34; Luke 12:58-59 – temporary state of purgation called a “prison.” There is no exit until we are perfect, and the last penny is paid.
    Matt. 5:48 – Jesus says, “be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We are only made perfect through purification.
    Matt. 12:32 – Jesus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell.
    Luke 12:47-48 – when the Master comes (at the end of time), some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. This is not heaven or hell.
    Luke 16:19-31 – dead rich man is suffering but feels compassion for his brothers. There is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell.
    1 Cor. 15:29-30 – Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, to atone for their sins. They must be in purgatory.
    Phil. 2:10 – every knees bends to Jesus, in heaven, on earth, and “under the earth” which is the realm of the righteous dead.
    2 Tim. 1:16-18 – Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him. There is no need for mercy in heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell.
    Heb. 12:14 – without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God.
    Heb. 12:23 – the spirits of just men who died in godliness are “made” perfect. They do not necessarily arrive perfect.
    1 Peter 3:19; 4:6 – Jesus preached to the spirits in the “prison.” These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.
    Rev. 21:4 – no mourning or pain, but only after the coming of the new heaven and the passing away of the current heaven and earth.
    Rev. 21:27 – nothing unclean shall enter heaven. Even the propensity to sin is uncleanliness. No purgatory means no salvation for most people.
    Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8 – examples of ritual prayer and penitent mourning for the dead for specific periods of time.
    Baruch 3:4 – Baruch asks the Lord to hear the prayers of the dead of Israel. Prayers for the dead are unnecessary in heaven and unnecessary in hell.
    Zech. 9:11 – God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering.
    2 Macc. 12:43-45 – prayers for the dead help free them from sin and help them to the reward of heaven. They are in purgatory.
    II. Purification After Death By Fire
    Heb. 12:29 – God is a consuming fire (of love in heaven, of purgation in purgatory, or of suffering and damnation in hell).
    1 Cor. 3:10-15 – works are judged after death and tested by fire. Some works are lost, but the person is still saved. This is the purgation of purgatory.
    1 Cor. 3:15 – though he will be saved, “but only” (houtos-in same manner) through fire. Man is both rewarded and saved by fire.
    1 Cor. 3:15 – suffer loss = “zemiothesetai” = root word “zemioo” = also refers to punishment. This means expiation of temporal punishment.
    1 Cor. 3:13 – revealing the quality of each man’s work by fire and purifying him relates to his sins (not just his good works).
    1 Cor. 3:17 – proves this purgation deals with punishing sin (destroying God’s temple = bad works = mortal sin = death).
    1 Cor. 3:14,15,17 – purgatory thus reveals the state of righteousness (v.14), state of venial sin (v.15) and state of mortal sin (v.17).
    1 Peter 1:6-7 – Peter refers to this purgatorial fire to test the fruits of our faith.
    Jude 1:23 – people saved being snatched out of fire. People are already saved if in heaven, and there is no possibility of salvation if in hell.
    Rev. 3:18-19 – Jesus refers to this fire as what refines into gold those He loves if they repent.
    Dan 12:10 – Daniel refers to this refining by saying many shall purify themselves, make themselves white and be refined.
    Wis. 3:5-6 – the dead are disciplined and tested by fire to receive their heavenly reward.
    Sirach 2:5 – for gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.
    Zech. 13:8-9 – God says 2/3 shall perish, and 1/3 shall be left alive, put into the fire, and refined like silver and tested like gold.
    Mal. 3:2-3 – also refers to God’s purification of the righteous at their death.
    GOD bless you! Feel free to reply, but let’s remain charitable — in CHRIST — Erik

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