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Purgatory and indulgences

Ancient faith and orthodox Churches view the Roman Catholic doctrines of Indulgences and purgatory as new age innovations.

The idea of Purgatory as a physical place (like heaven and hell) became Roman Catholic teaching in the late 11th century. Medieval theologians concluded that the purgatorial punishments consisted of material fire. The Western formulation of purgatory proved to be one of the points of division in the Great Schism (1054ad) between East and West.

The Roman Catholic Church Has a history of adding to the historic deposit of faith via their concept of Development of Doctrine. This sort of expansion of doctrinal ideas has traditionally resulted in schism or division within the Body of Christ, the Church, the two most notable divisions were the Great Schism and the Protestant Reformation.

In the Roman Catholic Church, an indulgence is the remission of a temporal punishment brought about by sin. This punishment consists of either earthly sufferings or time spent after death in Purgatory. Typically a writ of indulgence is issued by the Church and given to an individual who has demonstrated some type of penance, or good work. Indulgences can be applied to oneself or to the soul of a deceased person.

Historically, indulgences have been linked to earning time out of Purgatory. The abuse of indulgences was a primary cause of the Protestant Reformation in the early sixteenth century.

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