LINCOLN, Neb. — In contrast with media reports of “time off of purgatory” for Pope Francis’ Twitter followers, a canon lawyer explained that indulgences are a way that the Church encourages Christians to pray.
“Because the Church has the spiritual authority that Christ has given it, the Church can invite us to particularly sanctifying moments and particularly sanctifying opportunities,” J.D. Flynn, special assistant to Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Neb., explained to Catholic News Agency July 18.
An indulgence is defined as the remission of the temporal punishment — the required atonement by which an individual makes reparation — due to sins that have already been forgiven.