Kindly elucidate the merit of indulgences applicable to the living and to the ones in purgatory, does indulgences lessen the time in purgatory? Thank you.
Here is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1471 The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.
What is an indulgence?
"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."81
"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin."82 The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.83
I hope this answers your question.
Fr. Timothy Johnson