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The Sale of Indugences

Autor:   •  August 13, 2012  •  Essay  •  946 Words (4 Pages)  •  706 Views

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Your Holiness, 30/10/1512

Holy Father, I write to your Eminence during a time of great distress. My local parish of Heidenheim is in need of your Papal intervention. As you are well aware, the streets of Europe are awash with the despicable and heretic writings and teachings of the Augustinian Friar Martin Luther. Luther's defiant doctrines are unbiblical, illogical and incoherent. His ideas and theses question and ridicule the authority and power of the Church, your Papacy and Curia. The publication of his Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences is inciting rejections of your Papal rule over much 0f Europe. The need for his immediate and public exit from the Faith is of paramount importance to the progress and unity of your Church!

The infallibility of the Church is a unique supernatural sanction given to her by God. This sanction safeguards her from error in defining official Catholic Dogmas. Thus the teachings of the Church are infallible and undeniable. Martin Luther openly denies these teachings and has the gall to say his theses "are serious matters of conscience to the laity". What right has a mere friar to question and demand a response from your Church? Since our faith comes from God, it is neither open for debate nor reversible by human doing. Christians are asked to hold fast to all Christ's teachings integrally. There is no pick-and-choose in the faith as it is bound in heaven by God Himself.

If this sacrilegious man wishes to deny the authority of the Church and "if he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a gentile or tax collector" (Mat 18: 17). If Christ is with His Apostles and their successors, (above all you the Successor of Peter) would it not then indicate that your listeners are bound to receive your teaching as if it were Christ's own? Are they not bound to accept it as infallible? "If a baptised person deliberately denies or contradicts a dogma, he or she is guilty of sin of heresy and automatically becomes subject to the punishment of excommunication" (Mat. 16: 19) Does Martin Luther not fit the above criterion?

Martin Luther's writings, in particular his 95 Theses are centred on rejecting the use of indulgences given by you and your clergy. He believes these indulgences are a false means of absolution. Indulgences are a great aid to true devotion as they foster a spirit of prayer and sacrifice. As the successor of St Peter you have been given the power to grant these indulgences. The Saints themselves used indulgences. St Paul imposed a penalty on an incestuous Corinthian which as chastisement for a temporal punishment. After the Corinthian expressed his sorrowful repentance, he absolved him and the indulgence was then complete.

This system of penance was in existence well before the present, throughout the New Testament and was used

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