Meaning and Relevance indulgences


  • Varghese Palathingal Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram
Keywords: sacraments, Authority to Grant Indulgences, Eastern Churches and Indulgences, Orthodox View of Indulgences


Indulgence is a canonical institute. It is a concession granted by the church from its spiritual treasury to remit temporal punishment due to a sinner. The author overviews the origin of this practice in the middle ages and its canonical significance today. He points out that although this institute is unknown to the eastern tradition it is relevant to the churches of the east as it is founded on two catholic dogma: the doctrines of purgatory and of the communion of saints.

Author Biography

Varghese Palathingal, Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram

Varghese Palathingal was born on 19 January 1960 and ordained priest on 26 December 1985 for the eparchy of Irinjalakuda in the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Church. He has secured a licentiate and a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute, Rome (1987-1992) and a specialization in jurisprudence from the Roman Rota (1989-1992). His publications include authorship of Consortium totius vitae: Essence and Form of Marital Relationship in the Malabar Church, (STAR 1992); co-authorship of Patriarchal and Matrimonial Legislations in the Oriental Code (STAR 1992); and editorship of a symposium on Temporal Goods of the Church (QANONA series of OIRSI, 2017). Currently, he serves as a judge at the Syro-Malabar Major Archiepiscopal Ordinary Tribunal, Kochi and as a resident teacher at the Institute of Eastern Canon Law, Paurastya Vidyapitham, Vadavathoor, Kottayam.