From a reader comes a good question:
Do the spiritual concessions attached to a privileged altar still apply? I heard from a priest that they no longer do.
If a pastor of a church suspects his high altar was (or is) a privileged altar, but could not find the words altare privilegiatum, is there a place he could write to eg. Holy See, to confirm the status of the altar?
In some places, usually distinguished churches of a certain age – built long before the rethinking of how Holy Church speaks about indulgences - there were altars to which special indulgences or privileges were attached. You can see these altars pretty frequently in Rome.
However, my understanding is that these special privileges not longer apply, despite the fact that perhaps there remain inscriptions over or near the altars themselves.
For a clear answer… I suppose one would have to write to the Sacra Penitenzieria Apostolica or else the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. As a matter of fact, it would be nice to have a clear answer on this, so that the question can be settled.