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.