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I think there was a misunderstanding here. I see LARobert as saying that there was an accusation by Protestants (either in the past or currently) that Catholics bought indulgences to get out of hell without having to repent. Then I see him saying that that’s not really what happened much to the chagrin of some historians.

Next I see James understand that LARobert was saying that Protestant’s say someone does not have to be sorry for their sins, but it looks like James misunderstood LARobert’s statement. LARobert was saying that some historians/Protestants falsely claim that Catholics attempted to buy their salvation through the purchase of indulgences, but that claim by historians/Protestants is false. Indulgences reduce the amount of purgation once in purgatory, but don’t get someone out of hell or give license to sin.

And if none of that made sense…

Basically here’s what I see: In the past Protestants accused Catholics of purchasing their salvation, giving them license to sin without seeking Christ’s reconciliation, by making a monetary donation. That Catholics did this is false.

What really happened is that Catholics purchased indulgences (still morally wrong) to shorten the amount of time they spent in purgatory. Remember, purgatory is the place we go to for final purification before heaven. [b:1r591pv7]Only those already heavenbound will be in purgatory[/b:1r591pv7] (unless they are so perfectly clean they go straight to heaven – which is rare because just about everyone sins).

The reason why people go to purgatory is because sin leaves a mark on the soul, even after forgiveness, sin still has a stain on the soul. The soul needs final cleansing of those everlasting effects from sin before it can be ready for heaven. People go to hell when they have sinned and have never been reconciled to God.

[b:1r591pv7]Indulgences lessen the amount of time in purgatory for those already going to heaven[/b:1r591pv7] – they do nothing for people going to hell. People must still seek reconciliation even if they have received an indulgence, hence an indulgence is not a license to sin and does not remove the obligation to be reconciled to God. The claim that Catholics bought indulgences so they could get to heaven with no regard for personal sin and reconciliation is baseless because [b:1r591pv7]indulgences do not forgive sin[/b:1r591pv7].

I hope this helps for clarification purposes. <img decoding=” title=”Smile” />