Wednesday, November 12, 2014
THE AGANA INDULGENCE. LUTHER REVISITED?
As we know, one of the issues which precipitated the Protestant Reformation was the misuse of indulgences. And while we will not say that the plenary indulgence offered as part of Agana's 50th anniversary as a diocese is a misuse of an indulgence, we ARE saying that any attempt to frame this indulgence as a unique or rare opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence is in fact a misuse of indulgences and an ABUSE of the faithful.
Indulgences, plenary and partial, are always available to the faithful. Sadly, since our pastors say little about them, most of us are unaware of this gift from the Church. And, since most of us know so little about indulgences, we become susceptible to the kind of current hype surrounding the Agana indulgence, which (in light of recent events) has the air of the same kind of fundraiser that raised Luther's ire.
(No, there is no "charge" for the indulgence. But keeping the power on appears to depend now on getting bodies to the Cathedral who will put money in baskets.)
Lest you think that you can only gain a plenary indulgence when the bishop says so, see the authorized English version of the Enchiridion of Indulgences issued by the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary. For an easier to read summary, read this article at Catholic Online.
Also, the normal corequisites for obtaining an indulgence - the reception of sacramental confession and Holy Communion, and prayers for the intention of the pope, do NOT have to be received or performed at the Cathedral. Read APOSTOLIC PENITENTIARY: THE GIFT OF THE INDULGENCE to learn more.
However, if you are into the kind of penances you get from neo-priests, as the following letter describes, have at it. Maybe coughing up a few coins in return for absolution would be easier.
Go here for a PDF copy.