What Did The Theses Promise

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They therefore submitted to the rule of the Provisional Government, formed by liberals from the Duma.

The Soviet agreed to cooperate with the government and to advise it in the interests of workers and soldiers.

In order to fulfill temporal punishment due to sin, the priest assigns penance after he has absolved the believer of sin.

The priest decides how much penance to assign on the basis of an educated guess regarding the level of contrition experienced by the sinner.

Lenin, however, viewed the two bodies as institutions representing social classes locked in the class struggle.

He felt that, as one class gained dominance over the other, its governing body would crush the rival institution; thus the two could not indefinitely coexist.To understand the 95 Theses, we must first examine the nature of indulgences.According Roman Catholic theology, within the process of confession and absolution there is a distinction between “eternal punishment” and “temporal punishment” due to sin.Indulgences were invented partially as a way to solve the problem of the inexact nature of penance.Because the pope has access to the “Treasury of Merits” (i.e., the great reserve of the merits of Christ and the saints), he can release persons from the need to perform penance whenever he so chooses.This power extends to this life as well as the next (i.e., purgatory).He can do this by attaching a promise of indulgence to any action a sinner might take.On the basis of this interpretation he developed his theses, in which he urged the Bolsheviks to withdraw their support from the Provisional Government and to call for immediate withdrawal from World War I and for the distribution of land among the peasantry.The Bolshevik Party was to organize workers, soldiers, and peasants and to strengthen the Soviets so that they could eventually seize power from the Provisional Government.The specific occasion of the outbreak of the Indulgence Controversy was Johann Tetzel’s sale of indulgences in northern Germany.This sale was authorized by Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz and Pope Leo X.


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