Church  Authority




Moral  Issues

















What Does It Mean to Sell Grace ?

Why Would a Person Need Grace, or an Indulgence,
For A Sin Already Forgiven ?

What Does It Mean to Sell Grace ?

In order to understand the Protestant accusation that the  "Catholic Church sold indulgences" we need to examine their conclusions. Protestants do not believe that indulgences confer grace. But they know Catholics claim that they do. Therefore, the Protestant accusation implies that the Catholic Church claimed to be able to sell grace.

Now, imagine an evil person who manipulates others in order to gain wealth. And let us assume he is arrogant, self-righteous, and that he has a certain disdain toward God. Let us suppose that he tries to exchange a small portion of his wealth, and all the while remain unrepentant of his sins, in order to purchase grace. Now, if grace could be bought then we would have to conclude that such a person could buy grace. Money alone can purchase what is sold for money.  If this were the case then God would allow Himself to be manipulated by money.

Contrary to the Protestant claim, the Catholic Church never taught that it was possible to buy or sell grace.  All grace has God as its source.  And God is not going to allow Himself to be manipulated by money. Nowhere do we find an “infallible statement” by the Catholic Church saying grace, or indulgences, can be bought with purely monetary means and without regard to a person heart or mind toward God. Not only do we Not find this taught in an “infallible” ex-cathedra statement, this was never taught in even the ordinary or “fallible” means in Catholic Church teaching.

Historical examples of Catholic Church teaching on indulgences throughout the ages.


Why Would a Person Need Grace, or an Indulgence, For A Sin Already Forgiven ?

There is a double consequence to sin. Mortal sin (1 John 5:16-17) deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life with Him. But, there is second consequence. Even venial sin entails an unhealthy attachment to worldly things. There is a certain punishment we bring upon ourselves when we sin because we have caused damage to the world God has created and we have damaged our soul as well. Even though we may have received God’s forgiveness we must still by the help of God’s grace restore the disorder we have caused.

Even though King David was forgiven of his sin, he still had to endure a punishment he had brought upon himself.

2 Samuel 12:13-14
“Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan answered David: “The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.”

Cf. Numbers 14:20-23
“Then the Lord said, “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live …none of the men who have seen my glory … shall see the land which I swore to give to their fathers ...”

If a man through malicious anger breaks his neighbor’s window he must seek forgiveness. Having received that the sinner is still obligated to pay for a new window.

Imagine an elderly lady with a cane of about 88 years old walking in front of you down the sidewalk in front of your house. And imagine a rude neighbor brushing past her and not hurting her, but accidently knocking her to the ground. What would you do ? Naturally, you would help the poor lady back to her feet again. You would want to make right what was wrongly taken from her. Every sin hurts our self and it hurts others. By the help of God’s grace we can be purified of the attachments we have to those sins and make right the damaged we have caused. Either we will be purified and make restitution in this life or in the life here after in the state called Purgatory (assuming we are on the road to heaven.) Everyone in Purgatory is grateful to God for the chance to make amends and to help restore and make right, by the help of His grace, the chaos they caused in the world.

A spiritually healthy person would want to correct the spiritual disorder in the world. And all the more would he want the privilege and the honor and the grace to be able to correct the spiritual disorder of his own soul. Purgatory is what makes this possible if we fail to do it here on Earth

Also see

A  Proof  That  The  Catholic  Church  Did  Not  Sell  Indulgences

Indulgences : Important Distinctions







NEW   Cool  Catholic  Graphics

See  Articles  at