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Salvator noster and Unigenitus

Page history last edited by nathan rein 9 years, 9 months ago

Papal Bulls on indulgences

 

Clement VI, Unigenitus (1343)

 

The only-begotten Son of God deigned to come down from his father’s bosom into the womb of his mother, in whom and from whom he joined, by an ineffable union, the substance of our mortality to his divinity, in unity of person. . . . His purpose was in this way to redeem fallen humanity and make satisfaction for him to God the Father. . . . Nor did he redeem us with corruptible things—with silver and gold but with his own precious blood, which he is known to have poured out as an innocent victim on the altar of the cross: not a mere measured drop of blood (which however because of its union with the Word would have sufficed for the redemption of all humanity) but as it were an unmeasured flood. . . .What a great treasure, then, did the holy Father acquire therefrom for the church militant, lest the mercy of so great an outpouring be made empty, useless or superfluous! . . . those who avail themselves of this infinite treasure are given a share in God’s friendship [Wisdom, 8:14].

Now this treasure he entrusted to be dispensed for the weal of the faithful . . . through blessed Peter, who bore the keys of heaven, and Peter’s successors as God’s own representatives on earth. The purposes served should be proper and reasonable: sometimes total, sometimes partial remission of punishment due for temporal sins, as well generally as specially (according as they learn it to be expedient with God); and for these ends the treasure should be applied in mercy to those who are truly penitent and have made their confession.

The mass of this treasure is known to have been increased by the merits of the blessed mother of God and of all the elect, from the first righteous man to the last. Nor is there any fear of its being used up or diminished, as well because of the infinite merits of Christ . . . as because the greater the number who are drawn to righteousness by its application, the greater grows the mass of merits themselves.

 

Sixtus IV, Salvator noster (1476)

 

Our aim is that the salvation of souls may be secured above all at that time when they most need the intercessions of others and are least able to help themselves. We wish by our apostolic authority to draw on the treasury of the church and to succor the souls in purgatory who died united with Christ through love and whose lives have merited that such intercessions should now be offered through an indulgence of this kind.

With the longings of such great paternal affection as with God’s help we can achieve, in reliance on the divine mercy and the plenitude of our power, we grant by concession and indulgence as follows: If any parents, friends or other Christians are moved by obligations of piety towards these very souls who are exposed to the fire of purgatory for the expiation of punishments which by divine justice are their due: let them during the stated period of ten years give a fixed amount or value of money, as laid down by its dean and chapter or by our own collector, for the repair of the church of saints, paying either in person at the Church or by duly accredited messengers: it is then our will that plenary remission should avail by intercession for the said souls in purgatory, to win them relief from their punishments—the souls, that is, for whose sakes the stated quantity or value of money has been paid in the manner declared.

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