77. It is said that even St. Peter, if he were now Pope, could not bestow greater graces; this is blasphemy against St. Peter and against the pope.
78. We say, on the contrary, that even the present pope, and any pope at all, has greater graces at his disposal; specifically, the Gospel, powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written in 1 Corinthians 12:28.
79. To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal arms, which is set up by the preachers of indulgences, is of equal worth with the Cross of Christ, is blasphemy.
80. The bishops, curates, and theologians who permit such assertions to be spread among the people will be held accountable for it.
81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult even for learned men to defend the respect due the pope from false accusations, or even from the astute criticisms of the laity;
82. For example: -- "Why does not the pope empty purgatory, for the sake of holy love and of the dire need of the souls that are there, if he can redeem an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a Church? The former reasons would be most just; the latter is most trivial."
83. Again: -- "Why do funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continue to be said? Why does the pope not return or permit the repayment of the endowments founded on their behalf, since it is wrong to pray for those now redeemed?"
84. Again: -- "What is this new piety of God and the pope, that for money they allow an impious man who is their enemy to buy out of purgatory the devout soul of a friend of God, when they do not allow that pious and beloved soul to be redeemed without payment for pure love's sake or because of its need of redemption?"
85. Again: -- "Why are the penitential canon laws, which in actual fact and practice are long obsolete and dead, now satisfied by the granting of indulgences, as though they were still alive and in effect?"
86. Again: -- "Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealthiest of the wealthy, build just this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of poor believers?"
87. Again: -- "What does the pope remit [give] or grant to those who by perfect contrition already have a right to full remission and blessings?”
88. Again: -- "What greater blessing could come to the Church than if the pope were to do a hundred times a day what he now does only once, and bestow on every believer these remissions and participations?"
89. "Since the pope seeks the salvation of souls rather than money by his indulgences, why does he suspend the indulgences and pardons granted before now, since these have equal efficacy?"
90. To repress these arguments and scruples of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the Church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christians unhappy.
91. If, therefore, pardons were preached according to the spirit and mind of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved; indeed, they would cease to exist.
92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "Peace, peace," where there is no peace!
93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, "the cross, the cross," where there is no cross!
94. Christians are to be exhorted that they be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hell;
95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven rather through many tribulations, than through the assurance of peace.
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