Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines & Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Anne Huner wrote:

Hi, guys —


  • In the simplest of terms, what is an indulgence?


  { In the simplest of terms, what is an indulgence? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Anne —

Although it can be simplified more, this is what the Catechism teaches us:

CCC 1471 An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. (In 60 words)

I also found some on-line definitions from non-religious dictionaries that were sufficient enough and shorter:


A partial indulgence:

a partial remission of the temporal punishment, especially purgatorial atonement, that is still due for a sin or sins after absolution. (In 21 words)

A plenary indulgence

a remission of the total temporal punishment that is still due to sin after absolution. (In 15 words)

From the Free Dictionary:

The remission of temporal punishment still due for a sin that has been sacramentally absolved. (15 words)

Hope this helps,

[Related posting] [Related posting]

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.