I’m currently on a business trip in Europe which is lasting 2 weeks, so during this past weekend I took a side trip to Rome. I’d always wanted to go there and it truly was an amazing place to see. So much history… Particularly related to the Church of Jesus Christ. The history of the Christian faith includes the history of the catholic church because for much of the history of the church, that was all there was.
Of course, while I was in Rome, I visited the Vatican and St. Peter’s basilica. But I also visited the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls. It was an amazing place, though not all original ancient construction. As I was touring around inside, I noticed this sheet posted:
I was absolutely stunned! I had no idea that the Roman Catholic church was actually still offering indulgences. To be fair, they are not selling them, which was one of Martin Luther’s complaints against the Church which helped to launch the reformation.
As I was continuing to tour, up near one of the altars was this more lengthy explanation:
In this explanation, it says that “The indulgence may be applied to oneself, or to someone that has died”!
So, after about 500 years since the split that occurred during the reformation, one of the practices that was so troubling to Luther is still being practiced.
I don’t see any basis in Scripture for this practice and it seems to contradict the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).