071: Understanding Indulgences…Finally

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We’re not supposed to talk about them.

They’re supposed to be like that embarrassing uncle no one mentions by name at family functions. But that’s crazy.

In this episode of the Art of Catholic podcast we’re going to unveil the beautiful theology and practice of indulgences. Far from being an indefensible leftover we’d rather sweep under the medieval rug, indulgences are a powerful witness to God’s mercy. They are an incredible help in our journey to heaven.

But we need to understand them.

So as to help us make use of the Church’s treasury of merit (and really understand what in the world the “treasury of merit” even is), I brought in Mary Moorman. She’s a brilliant lady who recently wrote a pretty thick book on the topic titled, Indulgences: Luther, Catholicism, and the Imputation of Merit.

Among other issues, we’ll discuss:

  • What an indulgence is and how to obtain one
  • Pope St. John Paul II’s insightful take on indulgences
  • The very important difference between sacraments and indulgences
  • Why indulgences can be a (very) surprising bridge between Catholics and Protestants
  • Why Martin Luther should have loved indulgences…but didn’t
  • The deep connection between almsgiving and indulgences
  • Why you can’t understand indulgences without understanding the nature of sin

As with so many topics we cover on the Art of Catholic podcast, this one is both theologically rich and eminently practical.

And just to round things out, I’m once again bringing in the brilliant Bible scholar, Curtis Mitch, to add a little “somethin’-somethin.'” It’s another incredible installment of Next Level Scripture. He provides some unbelievably cool Old Testament background on the whole subject that brings the whole topic into focus.

Any way you slice it, this is a great episode. Hope you enjoy.

God bless!


P.S. If you liked this episode, you’ll probably like these, too:

047: The Secret Back Door out of Purgatory Nobody Talks About

048: How Almsgiving Can Save Your Life…Now & Later


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