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April 17, 2007




I think it's worth mentioning that indulgences can be gained not only for ourselves, but for others too - particularly the souls in Purgatory.

Ed Peters

Notice how this means that monthly confession always leaves one in a position to gain a plenary indulgence. Cool.

Tim J.

I am glad for this clarification, but... Wow! Twenty is "several"?

The church obviously needs to put out an authoritative list of non-specific quantitative slang-

"A couple", of course, is two and needs no clarification, though it is often used loosely to mean "two-er-three".

"A few" - Now, I always took this to be a minimum of three and up to five, but not more than that... then you're talking about,

"Several" - This can overlap somewhat with "a few", but I never envisioned it to be more than seven or eight.

There are other categories that need work;

A "handful"
A "bunch"
A "boatload" (also a "raft")

I'm sure there are others, but I'm beat from doing taxes and am going to have "a few" beers.


with days, I would have asssumed 'several' to mean anywhere up to fourteen, after which it becomes 'weeks'. Once again, the church is generous and gives us extra time to get to confession in a time when hours confession is offered is limited.

Enjoy your beers, Tim! (I wonder if you confessed to drinking too much if 20 beers would count as 'several'?)


I was of the understanding that one can gain an indulgence for oneself OR for the souls in purgatory - but NOT for other living persons. Am I missing something?

J.R. Stoodley

I read somewhere that indulgences can not really be gained for those in purgatory because the Church does not have the authority for that, but we can do everything required for the indulgance intending it be applied to a person in Purgatory and trust in God's mercy.

Anyone know the definitive answer to this?


I don't know, but our parish's information on the event claimed that confession can be up to 2 weeks before or after Divine Mercy Sunday for the indulgence to be effective.

...of course, they scheduled our first confessions for two weeks AND ONE DAY before D.M. Sunday, so by their reckoning I have to go back already... ;-)


This is a good example of Jimmy's "high context", "low contex" language issues. In English even words like: "few","many" and "several" have distinct meanings but in Latin and (I take it) Italian, the words are much more flexable.


Regarding indulgences for others, the CCC says:

The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead. (CCC 1471)

and the Code of Canon Law says:

"Can. 994 All members of the faithful can gain indulgences, partial or plenary, for themselves, or they can apply them by way of suffrage to the dead."

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