Since Pope Francis has not moved from the medieval times on the stance of indulgences, I thought a clear definition of what they are would be helpful. I would just plead to the pope to please scrape some of the gold on the ceilings that was put up there due to the indulgences and maybe feed the poor?
*A practice of the medieval Roman Catholic Church that suggested that financial contributions to the church could ensure that a person who had died could be released from purgatory (the place of torment) into heavenly bliss. Indulgences, among other practices, prompted Martin Luther to question the scriptural basis for many teachings of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. This in turn led to the Protestant Reformation and Luther’s emphasis on a person being declared righteous on the basis of faith in Christ alone without reference to meritorious human works of any kind.
*Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 66