What is the Treasury of Merit?

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What is the Treasury of Merit?

Post by remade » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:21 pm

I've been studying Roman Catholicism to better understand two of my friends who are in this church (and I believe Gospel-loving, Jesus-centered Christians). And I came across a "doctrine" or belief in the "treasury of merit." The person I'm listening to lectures on the matter (who I care not to disclose, so as not to move this discussion's focus elsewhere), in my mind, seems to be saying that the treasury of merit was in the time of the Reformation basically a big treasure chest of all the merits of the saints, one inexhaustible source being Jesus. Those after Jesus, of course being Mary, the saints of old, and any new Christian who happens to be made saint in the Catholic church.

The merits IN this treasury then, are the merits, or good works and deeds done OVER and BEYOND what is necessary to find favor in God's sight. In other words, "over achievers," to put it in less sophisticated, simple language.

Indulgences then, this teacher who is not RC but is teaching it, tells me, that at least in the Reformation, is when Joe Sinner buys an indulgence, and the Church, having the "keys," opens up this treasury and takes merit from - say - Mary, and applies it to Joe Sinner who upon receiving that merit, now has less time in purgatory, thanks to the merit dispensed to him from another saint who achieved above and beyond the required merits to find favor in God.

I am told by this teacher, that this treasury of merit still exists in RCC theology. I went to ask one of my Catholic friends what the Treasury of Merit is, and how it interacts with penance or indulgences, and got quite a bit of a different answer.

So two questions with either RCCers on this forum, or anybody perhaps bit more educated on RC theology than I am: IS the treasury of merit still in existence? Is it as I described?
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

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Re: What is the Treasury of Merit?

Post by TruthInLove » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:39 pm

Hi remade,

The following link may be helpful.

https://forums.catholic.com/t/treasury- ... t/126189/2

In it, there is a link directly to the Roman Catholic Catechism where this is explained but the link is outdated.

The following is the current link.


Please post again if this doesn't answer your questions.


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