Way back in 1517, Luther attacked the use of indulgences by the Church of Rome. They were used to provide a false hope, and a steady flow of cash for Papal building projects. The Reformation was born.
Many, Cavman included, think we need a new (or renewed) Reformation since the doctrine of justification by faith alone as fallen on hard times in evangelical circles. People have once again put sanctification prior to justification, just in a different form than Rome did.
But the Church of Rome has made a change that was not expected by many people. Indulgences are back. Yes, like the Terminator they have returned, and that is not a good thing either.
“Why are we bringing it back?” asked Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn, who has embraced the move. “Because there is sin in the world.”
Like the Latin Mass and meatless Fridays, the indulgence was one of the traditions decoupled from mainstream Catholic practice in the 1960s by the Second Vatican Council, the gathering of bishops that set a new tone of simplicity and informality for the church.