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Related to indulgence: plenary indulgence


in the Roman Catholic Church, the pardon of temporal punishment due for sin. It is to be distinguished from absolution and the forgiveness of guilt. The church grants indulgences out of the Treasury of Merit won for the church by Christ and the saints. Indulgences may be plenary, i.e., a full remission of all temporal punishment; or they may be partial, i.e., a remission of part of the temporal punishment. Contrary to popular understanding, the number of days specified in a partial indulgence does not denote a reduction of time in purgatory. The practice of quantifying indulgences stems from ancient usage, when actual public penance was imposed and remitted for specified periods as the church saw fit. Hence, the penitent who is granted an indulgence receives merit as if he had performed actual penance for the length of time specified. The degree of merit varies with the disposition of the penitent. The notion that this practice encourages moral laxity is denied by the church, since the penitent must be in a state of grace and the attachment to even a single venial sin will reduce the effectiveness of the indulgence. Indulgences won for souls in purgatory are applied only as God wills. Martin LutherLuther, Martin,
1483–1546, German leader of the Protestant Reformation, b. Eisleben, Saxony, of a family of small, but free, landholders. Early Life and Spiritual Crisis

Luther was educated at the cathedral school at Eisenach and at the Univ.
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 protested against the sale and abuse of indulgences and came to reject the teaching altogether. Since the Council of Trent (1562) the buying and selling of indulgences has been unlawful.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in the Catholic Church, the complete or partial forgiveness of “sins” granted to the believer by the church, which according to its teachings possesses a supply of “divine grace” by virtue of the merits of Christ and the saints; also, the certificate handed out by the church on the occasion of “absolution.” In the 12th and 13th centuries the Catholic Church began a huge trade in indulgences that took on the character of shameless profit, a fact that later aroused the vociferous protest of the humanists; the abolition of the trade was one of the basic demands of the Reformation. Even today the sale of indulgences by the papacy has not ceased completely.


Lozinskii, S. G. “Papskii ‘department pokaiannykh del.’” In Voprosy istorii religii i ateizma, collection 2. Moscow, 1954.
“Papskie taksy otpushcheniia grekhov.” Compiled by B. Ia. Ramm. Ibid.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. RC Church a remission of the temporal punishment for sin after its guilt has been forgiven
2. Commerce an extension of time granted as a favour for payment of a debt or as fulfilment of some other obligation
3. History a royal grant during the reigns of Charles II and James II of England giving Nonconformists and Roman Catholics a measure of religious freedom
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In the Enchiridion of Indulgences, devotion to Mary was a partial indulgence.
"When the faithful ob-serve certain practices like the Visita Iglesia and participate in solemn processions devoutly in prayer, in sacrifice, pray-ing for the intentions of the Holy Father, he gains a plenary indulgence.
Jacks' new book, three years in the making, "Sister their own words"; is a stunning 200 page hard cover coffee table book, featuring San Francisco's own Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who turn 40 this April.
From boho to glamorous brides, Bridal Indulgence and Tilly Mint will showcase a variety of must-have dresses in a magical catwalk at 2.15pm followed by a talk on everything bride-to-be's need to know about wedding dress shopping experience.
Documents on the Papal Plenary Indulgences 1300-1517 Preached in the Regnum Teutonicum
Even those who follow the events on TV and radio will be entitled to a partial indulgence.
"When it comes to Magnum, all that I can think of is indulgence, indulgence and some more indulgence." says Manish.
Some accounts relate that Tetzel once sold an indulgence to a nobleman who was seeking protection against a future sin.
I just rationalized then that, anyway, I didn't smoke, I drank wine in strict moderation, I ate basically a plant-based diet, and I lived an active and generally healthy lifestyle, so a little sinful indulgence in chocolates couldn't be that bad.
A truly guilt free indulgence, with a mere two grams of carbs per 100g.
For one thing, there are more mini frozen desserts available to satisfy shoppers' craving for a satisfying but not over-the-top indulgence. The TGI Fridays Frozen Desserts brand, distributed under license by Barrington, Ill.-based Captivated Foods LLC, has added flavors to its retail line of Frozen Flings Bon Bons, including Death by Chocolate, S'Mores, Strawberry Shortcake, Birthday Cake and Mexican Hot Chocolate.