Thursday, March 5, 2009

American Baptist Press gets indulgences wrong in article on Lariat editorial that got indulgences wrong

In an otherwise well-done article, Bob Allen of the American Baptist Press repeats a mistake made by his editorial colleagues-in-embryo at the student-staffed paper at Baylor University, the Lariat. (See the Lariat's editorial here).

Here is the comment I submitted to the site to be published under the ABP article:

Mr. Allen writes that "Indulgences fell into disuse after the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65, but Pope John Paul II reinstated them in 2000 to celebrate the church's third millennium." This is simply false, as I document in my blog post responding to the Lariat editorial. This is what I write: "The editors seem to not know that the doctrine is taught in the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church and that in 1967 Pope Paul VI issued an apostolic constitution on indulgences (Indulgentiarum Doctrina)." In fact, I even include an image of The Handbook of Indulgences, published by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1988 and released in 1992 in a third edition. The NCCB has published a useful web page on "Popular Devotional Practices: Basic Questions and Answers," which one can find here. Popular Catholic writer Jimmy Akin offers an account of indulgences that non-Catholic Christians will find understandable. Akin's appeal to Scripture will seem familiar to many Protestants, even if they inevitably part ways with Akin's reasoning. Apparently, the Lariat's editorial is the second badly reasoned one published by a Big 12 school in the past couple of weeks. The Daily Nebraskan offers this one. Read this student's reply.

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