This You Tube video answers the following questions
What indulgences are?
Why we should want them
Explains the two consequences of sin
How giving indulgences could be misunderstood as
Explains how we can get grace through acts of
The Proof is as follows :
The claim that
“The Catholic Church Sold Indulgences”
is a loaded
accusation. Catholics believe that indulgences
confer grace. And, God is the source of ALL grace.
So, to actually sell grace would mean that God would
allow Himself to be manipulated by an evil man who
had money to spend. So, the question behind the
accusation is :
Did the Catholic Church ever teach that a person
could buy grace?
To which I offer the following proof that the answer
is NO !
To simply sell something means that the exchange of
money is the sole cause of the thing in question to
be transferred from one person to the other. It is
solely the exchange of money regardless of the
person's faith and irrespective of their moral
disposition toward God that causes the transfer. If
there are other factors such as moral disposition or
faith, then it is not selling.
Read more details on :
What Does It Mean to
Sell Grace ?
There are two types of punishment that comes with
sin. There is the guilt we incur which would result
in the eternal separation from God and going to
hell. Jesus enables us to avoid that outcome by
partaking in the redemptive grace won for us by the
life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus
But, there is a second type of punishment. It is not
that God is looking for an opportunity to punish us,
but rather because of the very nature of sin it
wounds the spiritual goodness that God wishes us to
have. By His grace we can not only be forgiven, but
also healed of this wound, and spiritual sickness.
Even when King David is told by the prophet Nathan
that God has forgiven him for his adultery with
Bathsheba and the killing of Uriah, he is told that
his son must die. Sin is not just the breaking of
“arbitrary rules” of God, it causes a break in the
2 Samuel 12:13-14
For example, when might be forgiven for breaking a
window, but we are still obligated to replace the
window, to repair the wound we caused. By the
generous grace of Jesus Christ, He enables us to
Read more on :
Why Would a Person Need
Grace, or an Indulgence,
For A Sin Already Forgiven ?
The Bible explains how donations of money for
charitable and godly purposes when done with a good
heart helps to heal us from this second type of
punishment that results from sin.
1 Peter 4:8
“ … love covers a multitude of sins.”
“For almsgiving delivers from death, and it will
purge away every sin.”
Injunctions to Use Material Wealth to gain grace.
So, we need to ask,
Did Jesus or the Bible teach we can buy grace ?
Can a person, regardless good will and faith in
Jesus, obtain grace for a simple exchange and
purchase with money ?
The answer is NO !
Even though these particular verses of the Bible
above do state that a person’s heart and their faith
must humbly be placed under the Lordship of Jesus
Christ, the overall context of the whole Bible
implies this must done.
Similarly, the context of the Catholic Church's
teaching must be taken into account on how she meant
for the indulgences to be administered. Even the
proclamation by Pope Leo X in Martin Luther's day
clearly implied a person's heart had to be repentant
and reconciled with God.
Even those attacking the Catholic Church admit that
the granting of indulgences during the time of
Martin Luther necessarily included the Sacrament of
Confession. In order for the Sacrament of Confession
to be valid it must include a sincere and
penitential reform of a person’s heart. The sinner
must repent and make a firm purpose of amendment to
turn away from sin.
For example, even D'Aubigne, who wished to attack
the Catholic Church admitted that the Catholic
Church required this conversion of heart. So, the
simple exchange of money did not buy the indulgence,
it did not buy the grace.
D'Aubigne admits this was the case at the time of
Martin Luther :
I will not deny that Indulgences have been
abused; but are not the
most sacred things liable to be perverted?
This is a proper place to refer briefly to
Bull of Pope Leo X
proclaiming the Indulgence which afforded
Luther a pretext for his apostasy. Leo
determined to bring to completion the
magnificent Church of St. Peter, commenced
by his predecessor, Julius II.
With that view he issued a Bull promulgating
an Indulgence to such as would contribute
some voluntary offering toward the erection
of the grand cathedral.
Those, however, who contributed nothing
shared equally in the treasury of the
Church, provided they complied with the
essential conditions for gaining the
The only indispensable conditions enjoined
by the Papal Bull were
sincere repentance and confession of sins.
admits this truth, though in a faltering
manner, when he observes that "in the Pope's
Bull something was said of the repentance of
the heart and the confession of the lips."
[ History of the Great Reformation in
Germany and Switzerland by
Vol. I. p. 214.]
The applicants for the Indulgence knew well
that, no matter how munificent were their
offerings, these would avail them nothing
without true contrition of heart.
No traffic or sale of Indulgences was,
consequently, authorized or countenanced by
the Head of the Church, since the
contributions were understood to be
In order to check any sordid love of gain in
those charged with preaching the Indulgence,
that delivered the Indulgence," as D'Aubigne
"could not receive the money: that was
forbidden under the severest
insisted on the necessity of
of the heart and confession of the lips"
the donor's offering could avail him to
a Dominican monk, who had been appointed the
chief preacher to announce the Indulgence in
Germany, was accused by Luther of exceeding
his powers by making them subservient to his
own private ends.
Tetzel's conduct was disavowed and condemned
by the representative of the Holy See.
See full article,
Here we must clarify and distinguish between the
false accusation that the Catholic Church taught
grace could be sold, or the claim she taught that
the Church could “sell indulgences” with what really
happened. What really happened is that John Tetzel
and other wayward preachers pretended or at least
allowed themselves to be understood to be selling
indulgences contrary to Church teaching.
Please consider the following example.
Suppose a thief breaks into your house, takes your
car keys and your car and then proceeds to “sell”
your car to another person. Did he actually sell
your car ? Did the ownership of the car really
transfer to the third person ? The answer is NO. You
are still the true owner of your car. He did not
truly sell – transfer ownership – of your car. He
only pretended to do so.
Pope Leo X clearly did not approve of John Tetzel’s
misrepresentation of indulgences. And Luther knew
this. In #50 of his 95 Thesis Luther states :
50. Christians are to be taught that if the
pope knew the exactions of the
pardon-preachers, he would rather that St.
Peter's church should go to ashes, than that
it should be built up with the skin, flesh
and bones of his sheep.
Even the Papal envoy from Rome condemned John
“The acts of Tetzel were officially
disavowed by the court of Rome. In 1519,
Charles Miltitz, the papal envoy, openly
rebuked him for his conduct in the affair of
the indulgences; and even charged him with
having been the occasion of most of the
troubles which during the previous two years
had afflicted Germany.
[See] D'Aubigné's "History of the Great
Reformation in Germany and Switzerland”,
Vol. 2, page 16”
Martin John Spalding’s Review of above said
book, page 82
Even before Martin Luther the Catholic Church was
clear that the overall context of indulgences did
not permit them to be sold.
The context of how Indulgences were to be understood
and obtained can be seen in the corrective measure
of abuses that happened before Martin Luther :
Council of Mainz in AD 1261
The medieval pardoner, depicted by Chaucer in the
Pardoner's Tale, was often an unscrupulous rascal,
whose dishonesty and fraud were condemned by the
Bishops of the time. We find orders for their arrest
in Germany at the Council of Mainz in 1261, and in
England by order of the Bishop of Durham in 1340.
To indict the Church for these abuses,
as Lea does in his
History of Confession and Indulgences
(iii., 284-295), is manifestly dishonest.
Even before Martin Luther the Catholic Church has
continually throughout history corrected Indulgence
abuses. See actions taken in
AD 747, 1392, 1450, and 1478
of Indulgences Abuses and Misunderstandings
John Tetzel did a dismal job of presenting the full
context of how indulgences are to be understood.
Since the official Catholic teaching never
authorized him to sell indulgences, he at most only
pretended to sell indulgences. See
thief analogy above
In the 16th century, when the abuse of
indulgences was at its height, Cardinal
Cajetan (Tommaso de Vio, 1469-1534) wrote
about the problem: "Preachers act in the
name of the Church so long as they teach the
doctrines of Christ and the Church; but if
they teach, guided by their own minds and
arbitrariness of will, things of which they
are ignorant, they cannot pass as
representatives of the Church; it need not
be wondered at that they go astray."
See full article
Catholic Church still sell Indulgences ?l
Indulgences, Myth # 7
The Catholic Church never taught that Indulgences
could be sold, or that grace could be bought. The
full context of the indulgences promoted by the
Popes and Councils precluded that from being a valid
understanding of Catholic Church teaching.