Indulgences : Important Distinctions
We have to distinguish between the false claim that :
The Catholic Church Sold Indulgences
and the reality that :
John Tetzel and others (at most) only pretended to sell indulgences.
Is this a significant distinction ?
Is this just splitting hairs ?
The whole analysis of the event hinges on which statement above is true.
To understand why this is so, we must examine the claims and the
conclusions that Protestants make.
Both Catholics and Protestants claim that Pope Leo X and John Tetzel
(and his kind)
all did horrible things.
But, Catholic and Protestants condemns their actions for opposite
Protestants reject them with the assumption that they were being true
Catholics. And so, they reason, since the Catholic Church was corrupt
then, and presumably now as well, that the Catholic Church is to be
rejected. A “Cafeteria Catholic” also thinks somewhat along these lines,
choosing which parts or teachings of the Church to accept and which to
Catholics on the other hand reject the conduct of Pope Leo X and John
Tetzel - what they did and what they failed to do - precisely because
their conduct was unfaithful to the teachings and the traditions of the
Catholic Church. At this point there had been a 1500 year tradition, or
more counting the Old Testament, of what a good father (or Papa) or
Pastor should do. Pope Leo X should have done more to correct the abuses
in regards to the indulgences as had been done in the previous years
when problems arose.
John Tetzel was wrong. And Pope Leo X failed to do enough to correct the
John Tetzel was NOT authorized by the Catholic Church to sell, or even
to pretend to sell indulgences.
Correction of Indulgences’ Abuses and Misunderstandings,
747, 1261, 1392, 1450, 1478 and 1519
The Catholic Church rejects their conduct, not because they were true
and faithful Catholics, but because they went against Catholic Church
teaching, or failed to perform in Pope Leo X’s case, in a manner of
proper conduct for a good Pastor.
A Proof That
The Catholic Church Did Not Sell
What Does It Mean to Sell Grace ?
Why Would a Person Need Grace, or an
For A Sin Already Forgiven ?