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In his book "Truth Encounter: Catholicism and the Holy Scriptures"), Dr. Anthony Pezzotta, a former Catholic Priest, shared some very interesting experiences he had regarding the application of indulgences. He shared that while on a visit to the Vatican in 1993, his friend, a member of the Conservative Baptist Church in Rome, invited him to see something interesting in a store seling books and souvenirs beside St. Peter's Basilica. He was surprised to see a priest, seated at a desk, selling pieces of paper that looked like diplomas. Each one had been signed by Pope John Paul II and declared a plenary indulgence or total forgiveness of the penalty of sins for those Catholics who bought them. They sold for $20.00 or 30,000 liras each. Dr. Pezzotta said he was dumbfounded because he thought that the buying of indulgences had ceased with the middle ages. He acknowledges that most indulgences appropriated today are not bought or sold directly but most come in the form of monetary exchanges., such as the purchase of images or prayer beads, and the stipend collected by the church to secure a mass for the living or for the dead. Dr. Pezzotta further shares that while studying in England, he questioned his professor about the catholic teaching of a mass for the dead being a plenary indulgence which is supposed to send to heaven the soul for whom the mass is offerred. He asked, "IF ONE MASS IS A PLENARY INDULGENCE APPLICABLE TO THE DEAD, AND, THEREFORE, SUFFICIENT TO SEND A SOUL FROM PURGATORY TO. HEAVEN, HOW IS IT THAT WE ALLOW THE FAITHFUL TO KEEP OFFERING MASSES FOR THE SAME SOUL MONTH AFTER MONTH, YEAR AFTER YEAR?" His professor's answer was, "THERE MIGHT BE SOULS IN GREATER NEED THAN THE ONE WE PRAY FOR AND THAT WOULD HAVE PRECEDENCE IN GOD'S EYES." His professor's answer troubled Dr. Pezzotta for many years. A priest accepts payment for a mass although he knows that it is not going to accomplish what the giver wishes on the grounds that it will help someone else? Dr. Pezzotta also shared in his book that he asked a Swiss priest, who had just celebrated a mass for the dead, if he believed in purgatory. The Swiss priest said he did not. So Dr. Pezzotta argued, "Why then, did you say mass for the dead? Those who are in heaven do not need indulgences. Those in hell cannot avail of them. So it is for the souls in purgatory you said mass!" To which the Swiss priest replied, "You are right. But it is hard to tell ordinary Catholics, who come to you with $20.00 or $30.00 and ask for one more mass for their loved one, that these masses are of no use." This book by Dr. Pezzotta was instrumental in my search for the truth and I invite all catholics to read it and be enlightened about the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as agains Scriptures on very crucial matters like Indulgences, priesthood, apparitions, and, most especially, salvation. I share the prayer of Mr. Houdmann. May all who read these discussions o indulgences help and enlighten us and may we realize that only Jesus is the way to salvation.
In my humble opinion No these percepts are not Biblical as they do not appear in original scripture and were added later as a fund raising system. Galatians 4:8 The injustice of the system was that the wealthy or those with resources could purchase indulgences and those too poor were burdened with this yoke. Martin Luther strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money or property with his ninety five theses in 1517, the Protestant Reformation. Galatians 1:6 His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of the infallible Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by Emperor Chuck. Galatians 1:10 He insisted that, since forgiveness was God's alone to grant, those who claimed that indulgences absolved buyers from all punishments and granted them salvation were in error. Christians, he said, must not slacken in following Christ on account of such false assurances. In the Lord's freedom and grace....warrior on
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