St. Thomas Aquinas on Satisfaction, Indulgences, and Crusades
Medieval Philosophy and Theology, vol. 2 (1992)
In order properly to elucidate the church’s doctrine on indulgences, the theologian must study the practice of granting indulgences in the contexts of the satisfaction of Christ and of peni’ tential works undertaken by Christian believers. In his treatment of indulgences, Thomas Aquinas is concerned to explain how Christ’s redemptive sufferings can spiritually benefit the members of the mystical body. Aquinas understands that, through indulgences, the church allots certain spiritual benefits to those who collaborate by one means or another in building up the mystical body.