The Roman Catholic Church has many departments and operates through formal procedures.
The Apostolic Penitentiary is one of the departments of the Roman Curia, the central body responsible for the affairs of the Church.
This tribunal of mercy recently issued a new Plenary Indulgence in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
I discovered this information from another blog but haven’t seen it anywhere else yet.
Please read and share the important news below. I don’t want anyone to miss this special opportunity!
Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the granting of special Indulgences to the faithful in the current pandemic, 20.03.2020
The gift of special Indulgences is granted to the faithful suffering from COVID-19 disease, commonly known as Coronavirus, as well as to health care workers, family members and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom 12: 12). The words written by Saint Paul to the Church of Rome resonate throughout the entire history of the Church and guide the judgment of the faithful in the face of all suffering, sickness and calamity.
The present moment in which the whole of humanity, threatened by an invisible and insidious disease, which for some time now has become part of all our lives, is marked day after day by anguished fears, new uncertainties and above all widespread physical and moral suffering.
The Church, following the example of her Divine Master, has always had the care of the sick at heart. As Saint John Paul II points out, the value of human suffering is twofold: “It is supernatural because it is rooted in the divine mystery of the Redemption of the world, and it is likewise deeply human, because in it the person discovers himself, his own humanity, his own dignity, his own mission” (Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris, 31).
Pope Francis, too, in these recent days, has shown his paternal closeness and renewed his invitation to pray incessantly for those who are sick with the Coronavirus.
So that all those who suffer because of COVID-19, precisely in the mystery of this suffering, may rediscover “the same redemptive suffering of Christ” (ibid., 30), this Apostolic Penitentiary, ex auctoritate Summi Pontificis, trusting in the word of Christ the Lord and considering with a spirit of faith the epidemic currently underway, to be lived in a spirit of personal conversion, grants the gift of Indulgences in accordance with the following disposition.
The Plenary Indulgence is granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfil the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible.
Health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15: 13), will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.
This Apostolic Penitentiary also willingly grants a Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions on the occasion of the current world epidemic, also to those faithful who offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or Eucharistic adoration, or reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, or the recitation of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself.
The Church prays for those who find themselves unable to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and of the Viaticum, entrusting each and every one to divine Mercy by virtue of the communion of saints and granting the faithful a Plenary Indulgence on the point of death, provided that they are duly disposed and have recited a few prayers during their lifetime (in this case the Church makes up for the three usual conditions required). For the attainment of this indulgence the use of the crucifix or the cross is recommended (cf. Enchiridion indulgentiarum, no.12).
May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, Health of the Sick and Help of Christians, our Advocate, help suffering humanity, saving us from the evil of this pandemic and obtaining for us every good necessary for our salvation and sanctification.
The present Decree is valid notwithstanding any provision to the contrary.
Given in Rome, from the seat of the Apostolic Penitentiary, on 19 March 2020.
Mauro Cardinal Piacenza
The following “General Remarks on Indulgences” from Gift of the Indulgence summarizes the usual conditions given in the law of the Catholic Church.
- This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1471): “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.”
- In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (numbers 3 and 4 below) and the performance of certain prescribed works.
- To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed. In other words, one must be a Catholic, not excommunicated or in schism.
- A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
- Have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin
- Have sacramentally confessed their sins
- Receive the Holy Eucharist. It is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required
- Pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff
- It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within 20 days before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an ‘Our Father’ and a ‘Hail Mary’ are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.
- For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except detachment from even venial sin).
- Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.
Information taken from the EWTN website
If you’re Catholic, I encourage you to follow the conditions explained above to receive the new indulgence.
Since most Catholics don’t have access to the sacraments right now, we must have the will to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion as soon as possible to satisfy all of the conditions.
If you’re not Catholic, I encourage you to pray.
Whatever state you’re in, please pray for the intentions stated above: the end of the pandemic, relief for those who are suffering and eternal salvation for those who have died.
This special grace reminds us that we are never alone.
Holy Mother Church is here to comfort, guide and strengthen us until the very end.
“I know how much you suffer, but do not be afraid. I share with you your suffering, and I shall always do so.” ~ The Blessed Virgin Mary