How Roman Catholics Are to Obtain Benedict’s Indulgence
Benedict’s decree then explains what Roman Catholics are required to do during this “Year of Faith”, in order to obtain this indulgence:
It states: “all individual [Roman Catholic] faithful truly repentant, duly confessed, communing sacramentally, and who pray according to the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, will be able to acquire a plenary Indulgence from the temporal punishment for their sins imparted by God’s mercy, applicable in suffrage to the souls of the deceased faithful.”
And it proceeds to elaborate further:
“a. – Every time they take part in at least three instances of preaching during the Sacred Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of Vatican Council II and on the Articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in any church or ideal place;
“b. – Every time they visit by way of pilgrimage a Papal Basilica, a Christian catacomb, a Cathedral Church, a sacred place designated by the Ordinary of the place for the Year of Faith… and take part there in some sacred function or at least pause for an apt time of recollection with pious meditations, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, according to the case, to Holy Apostles or Patrons;
“c. – Every time, in days determined by the Ordinary of the place for the Year of Faith… in any sacred place they participate in a solemn Eucharistic celebration or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form;
“d. – A day freely chosen, during the Year of Faith, for the pious visit of the baptistery or other place, in which they received the sacrament of Baptism, renewing the baptismal promises in any legitimate formula.”
This is straightforward bribery, nothing less! If the Roman Catholic does this or that; if he hears a certain number of sermons or lessons, if he goes on a particular pilgrimage, if he “at least pauses for an apt time of recollection with pious meditations”, if he prays a certain prayer or invokes certain “saints”, if he renews the baptismal promises someone else made for him when he was a baby, etc., etc. – then, having done these works in the proper manner, he will acquire this indulgence. None of this is in the Bible. It is spiritual bribery, and part of Rome’s false teaching of salvation by one’s own merits.
Hogwash Presented as Christianity
Again: if indulgences were real, why does Benedict not simply open that “treasure chest” and let them flow out to the people? Why does he not at the very least just leave the treasure chest open, so that the super-abundant merits of the “saints” can benefit the multiplied millions of Roman Catholics today? Even if they were worried that this would cause the chest to be eventually emptied, at least millions of souls would have obtained relief from the temporal punishment due to their sins in this life or in Purgatory!
Ah, but he will not, because he cannot. It is all hogwash. Salvation is “not of works”, it is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and as such is the free “gift of God” (Eph. 2:8,9). It is not by a complicated man-made religious system of confessing sins to a priest, performing some penance to earn forgiveness, being absolved by the priest, then having the supposed temporal punishment for sins remitted by indulgences, either in this life or in a fictional Purgatory. Salvation is a free gift of God, given to all His elect, and it is a complete and perfect salvation. They do nothing to earn or merit it.
Is Roman Catholicism Christian? Is the “Church” of Rome a true Christian church, or a heathenish religion? The answer is obvious to anyone with eyes to see.