21) Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.
Only God can forgive the penalty for sin.
22) As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.
You can’t add penalties in purgatory.
23) If remission of all penalties whatsoever could be granted to anyone at all, certainly it would be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few.
If worthiness for forgiveness was an issue, who would be saved from penalty? Luther is getting close…
24) For this reason most people are necessarily deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalty.
A money making scheme sounds too good to be true. Go figure…
25) That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.
A bishop oversees a diocese, a collection of Catholic churches. A curate is a priest.
26) The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them.
The power of the keys is the ability to forgive sin granted to all Christians. Luther is saying this power has no effect in purgatory and the pope is better off praying for the dead.
27) They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.
One of the branding statements of the indulgence salesmen is false.
28) It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.
Money for forgiveness is sinful. Prayer is fine, as long as you realize God is going to do what he is going to do.
29) Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend.
Maybe some people want to hang in purgatory to get greater glory once they reach heaven. That is what the legend is all about.
30) No one is sure of the integrity of his own contrition, much less of having received plenary remission.
It is up to God to judge a man or woman’s heart. so it is impossible to know if indulgences have any effect whatsoever.