What is happening today reflects a long history. Visiting Holland, Germany, France, and England, countries where the Protestant Reformation challenged Roman Catholicism, which had held the entire Western world in its iron grip for centuries, is inspiring but at the same time disheartening. It is thrilling to visit the Wittenberg Castle Church, where the Reformation began. It held one of Europe’s largest collections of religious relics—some 19,000 accumulated by Frederick III. Pilgrims viewing all of them would receive indulgences that would allegedly shorten their time in purgatory by 5,209 years(1)—the largest reduction obtainable in one place outside of Rome.
Of course, these poor souls never suspected that on January 1, 1967, over the signature of Pope Paul VI, their infallible Church would issue its “Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences,” admitting centuries of false promises, undoing the reduction of the purgatorial sufferings deceased Catholics thought they had purchased, and making new requirements they couldn’t possibly fulfill, having been dead and presumably still in purgatory after 400 years of torment in its flames.(1)
(1) Martin Treu, Martin Luther in Wittenberg: A Biographical Tour (Wittenberg:Saxon-Anhal to Luther Memorial Foundation, 2003), 15.
(2) Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, General Editor Austin Flannery, O.P. (Northport, NY: Costello Publishing Company, 1988, Revised Edition), Volume I, 62-79.
Source: The Berean Call
If the catholic church is infallible (without mistake) and the pope is infallible (without mistake), why would the catholic church reverse these indulgences? Does that mean the catholic church “made a mistake”? Wait a minute, I thought the catholic church, its pope and magisterium were infallible?
One must admit that being a catholic is a life of uncertainty. It is a life of spiritual confusion because it is not longer based on the Word of God but on tradition, magisterium and whatever else suits their fancy to change.