Dear participants in this question,
The queries about indulgences need, I think, to include
the following explanations:
Much confusion was caused in the past, regarding the phrase "X"
number of days indulgence.
Many people, including
some well instructed Catholics, assumed this was a remittance
of that number of days in Purgatory. Not
So! The number
of days ascribed to indulgences was that by completing
a particular activity (i.e. so many prayers, or visit
to shrine, etc.) was equivalent to a sinner completing
that number of days penance (i.e. the early Church sackcloth
It was never to be interpreted as a number
of days in Purgatory. With
God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years
is like a day.
know (this side of the grave) how long anyone will spend
in Purgatory. The only thing we do know is that God is
infinitely just as well as infinitely merciful, and that
we have the gift of free will to accept or reject his
Also remember, Jesus gave Peter the keys to loosen or
bind. Whatever he binds on earth is considered bound
also in Heaven. Therefore indulgences are an act of mercy
by Holy Mother Church, in her solicitude for her children.
It is most unfortunate when Catholics neglect and reject
this wonderful gift from their Mother, the Church.
BA (Divinity) Hons, MA Theology (Marian Studies)