Thought for the Day – 9 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Throughout the Centuries, Indulgences have been regulated by the authority of the Church which, in the course of the Council of Trent, (Session XXV Decr. de Indulg.) sanctioned their lawfulness and usefulness, for the Faithful, both living and dead.
There is no question of innovation.
It cam be said quite truly that the first Indulgence was granted by Jesus Himself, to the repentant thief!
“This day,” He told him, “thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”
By these words, Our Lord remitted, not only the sin and the eternal punishment, due to it but, also all temporal punishment.
In the same way, an Indulgence was granted by St Paul, when he mitigated the punishment inflicted on the offender at Corinth (2 Cor 6-8).
Indulgences are called Plenary, when they remit all the temporal punishment due to sin and Partial, when it is the intention of the Church to release the sinner from whatever penalties would have been expiated, if he had done penance for a certain period of time, in accordance with the ancient discipline.
No essential relaxation of practice is intended because the Church always demands that the sinner should first ensure that he is in the state of grace, by making a good Confession.
As the Council of Trent insists, he should be sincerely repentant.
The Church requires, moreover, that in order to gain a Plenary Indulgence, the penitent should be detached from all affections, even towards deliberate venial sin!”