“The Gift of Indulgences: at the heart of the mystery of Redemption”: this is the title of the lecture of Cardinal Placentia, Major Penitentiary, offered to the participants in the 30th course in the Internal Forum, which will be held until the 24th. the calendar of April Fraternal dialogue, genuine spiritual paternity and evangelical parrhesia: ways to manifest the abundance of God’s mercy, whose custodianship is the Church.
Antonella Panormo – Ciudad del Vaticano
Within the space of the 33rd Course in the Internal Forum of the Apostolic Penitentiary, which is held until the 24th of March, and which welcomes priests and holy orders, Cardinal Mauro of Placentia, Major Penitentiary, articulates his lesson for indulgences on indulgences. doctrinal, historical and spiritual-pastoral aspects.
Faith in Christ is not a vague deism
The cardinals, when they considered the Catholic faith subject to submission, stated that several “reductions”, which led to not a few errors of time, were necessary to emphasize the historical fact of the Incarnation in order to avoid any gnostic or explicit gnostic tendency. First of all, he explained to the cardinals, “from too many quarters, the sirens of the world are sounding in unison, so that the faith of the resurrected Christ is reduced to a vague deism”, a vague “therapeutic insinuation that unites the judgment of truth and good; only the subject and the sense itself can be changed.”
The Church, he points out, is “the first depository” of the abundance of Christ’s mercy, perpetually renewed and renewed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Cardinal of Placentia also confirmed that “with the apostolic authority that Christ himself brought to her, the Church wisely and prudently draws from the treasury of divine mercy, not only the remission of sins committed by the faithful after Baptism, but also the remission of sins.” temporal punishments inherent in them.
From the 20th of March to the 24th, the 32nd training course is held for the training of priests and for those who are about to receive Holy Orders. Among the themes, donation…
On the value of indulgences in the way of sanctification
The Cardinal’s attention is focused on those “partial indulgences” or “weekly indulgences” that reveal a permanent bond with God, a permanent look to heaven: ejaculation, penitential gestures, reading a verse of Scripture, acts of charity. This is the very point of the report: “Indulgences certainly have an atoning value, but it is always appropriate to highlight their relative, spiritual value as well and thus support the personal path of sanctification.”
They also strengthen the communion of saints, because they are applied to our deceased brothers and sisters, still on the path of purification to a full beatific vision. “In this sense – he put it – indulgences pass and almost break the time-space limits of our earthly life and as an anticipation of resurrected life.”
abuse of the monetization of indulgences
Again, Cardinal Placentia spoke of reductionism when he entered into a historical vision of indulgences: there are those who have no reason for limits, except for the abuses that have occurred in this area, and there are those who demonize their use. desiring their extinction.
Through the excursion from the 1st century, when Christians raised votes for the dead, we reach the 11th century, when we find royal indulgences. The phenomenon of the “monetization” of indulgences is indeed to be deplored, the Cardinal said, although it can be explained to some extent by taking into account the cultural, social and religious context, which he considered right and appropriate to secure eternal salvation even through immense sacrifice. good
Another declaration by the cardinals also brought the temptation to “quickly archive and silence the event of indulgences in the name of ecumenism misunderstood with the Reformed communities.”
Remission and parrhesia
In the last part of his lecture, Cardinal Placentinus highlighted some characteristics of mercy and forgiveness: “Mercy is not to lie about sin, and to leave the less faithful in a state of sin because of the fear of confession when speaking with the faithful.” as an ordinary father and a caring physician, with only misunderstood mercy, lacking Christian realism, he can abdicate the most important task of judge and teacher, which Christ entrusted to the Apostles and their successors: to trust Christ to every confessor.
Fraternal dialogue and genuine spiritual fatherhood are the means by which each priest should exercise “the grave duty of warning the sinner of the seriousness of his condition”: if he had not done so, he would have had to answer before God. The evangelical movement is parrhesia, so that it is truly a remedy for the soul.
In fact, according to Cardinal Placentinus, there is only one condition to receive a plenary indulgence, which can be known in communion: in sacramental communion, through penance and the Eucharist; in the communion of one faith, by a symbol; in hierarchical communion, through prayer for the person and according to the mind of the Roman Pontiff.