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Anne Huner wrote:

Hi, guys —

What is an indulgence, in the simplest of terms, please?

Anne

  { What is an indulgence in the simplest of terms? }

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. (60 words)

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

From Dictionary.com

A partial indulgence:

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

A plenary indulgence

a remission of the total temporal punishment that is still due to sin after absolution. (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,

Mike
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