Vatican City, 5 October 2012 (VIS) – According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Bishop Krzysztof Nykiel, respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the Year of Faith. The indulgence will be valid from the opening of the Year on 11 October 2012 until its end on 24 November 2013.

“The day of the fiftieth anniversary of the solemn opening of Vatican Council II”, the text reads, “the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has decreed the beginning of a Year especially dedicated to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation, through the reading of – or better still the pious meditation upon – the Acts of the Council and the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church”.

“Since the primary objective is to develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on this earth, and thus to attain the most sublime level of pureness of soul, immense benefit may be derived from the great gift of Indulgences which, by virtue of the power conferred upon her by Christ, the Church offers to everyone who, following the due norms, undertakes the special prescripts to obtain them”.

“During the Year of Faith, which will last from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013, Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of sins, imparted by the mercy of God and applicable also to the souls of deceased faithful, may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

“(A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the Holy Missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location.

“(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith (for example, minor basilicas and shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Apostles or patron saints), and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.

“(C) Each time that, on the days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, … in any sacred place, they participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding thereto the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form.

“(D) On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.

“Diocesan or eparchal bishops, and those who enjoy the same status in law, on the most appropriate day during that period or on the occasion of the main celebrations, … may impart the papal blessing with the Plenary Indulgence”.

The document concludes by recalling how faithful who, due to illness or other legitimate cause, are unable to leave their place of adobe, may still obtain Plenary Indulgence “if, united in spirit and thought with other faithful, and especially at the times when the words of the Supreme Pontiff and diocesan bishops are transmitted by television or radio, they recite … the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and other prayers that concord with the objectives of the Year of Faith, offering up the suffering and discomfort of their lives”.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Joe in Canada says:

    Anyone who is unable to leave “their place of adobe” is spending too much time on the computer.

  2. Tim Ferguson says:

    One of the tragedies of the closure of parishes and the reduction of churches to profane but not sordid use is that those of us who were baptized in churches that no longer exist would not seem to have the option available to us of receiving the indulgence listed as letter (D).

  3. tonyfernandez says:

    “On any day they chose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.”

    What is a legitimate form?

  4. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Item D doesn’t work too well for folks such as me who were baptized outside the Catholic Church and later received as Catholics, but there are plenty of other indulgence options. No sense whining about what isn’t available when there’s plenty more that is available.

  5. Dismas says:

    (A) Each time they attend
    (B) Each time they visit
    (C) Each time that… they participate

    Wow, that’s alot of time and opportunity!

  6. Marie Teresa says:

    Could someone please help me with the term used in part A: “… during the Holy Missions …?”

    In part C, perhaps I missed something. I checked the webstes for our diocese and for the USCCB but don’t see any “designated days.”

    Also in part C, does anyone know if the requirements would be met by praying the Liturgy of the Hours on my own at our local church?

    In looking for info in fount the Vatican’s Year of Faith website (wonderful pictures!! and info)

    Thanks to anyone here who can steer me in the right direction.

  7. Bea says:

    Must we do A,B,C…. AND….. D?
    Can we choose A,B,C…..OR…..D?

    Both my husband and I were baptized in a city other than where we live and travel is out of the question (for D)

    Can we substitute THE BALTIMORE CATECHISM instead of the CCC to renew our Faith (A)?

    Travel being out of the question how can we perform the pilgrimage (B)?

    (C) “solemn” celebration of the Eucharist, I suppose this is meant by attending Mass which ANY Mass should be solemn. Our Parish doesn’t do LOTH, so we can’t attend that. We could do it privately. Does that count?

    Is there a Vatican link we can go to that will give step by step exceptions/substitutions and the like?

  8. Dominic Maria says:

    For Part D can it be any baptistry or must it be the one where you were baptised?

  9. Manhattan Trid says:

    I am in the situation of my baptismal parish (Saint Anne’s) being sold and destroyed but the font found a new home in a beautiful church (Our Saviour). In other cases I wonder if going to the parish where your records are now kept would technically count. For those (validly) baptised in other denominations it would probably be the church you were received in.
    The Baltimore Catechism is out of the question because the Holy Father wants the Faithful to know what VII actually said.

  10. anthtan says:

    I wonder what is meant by ” a congruous period of time”?

  11. AnnAsher says:

    Congruous – a period of time equal to the time it would take for Mass.

  12. Allan S. says:

    Father, may converts like us therefore obtain an indulgence by visiting our Protestant church where we were baptized ?

  13. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Considering that “the place one was baptized” could very easily be a stream or the kitchen sink, I’m fairly sure that a Protestant church would be okay. The point is to remind oneself to be grateful for one’s Baptism into Christ. Your own peculiar circumstances are part of the point.

    And even if one’s old parish church has been torn down, or the baptistry converted into an accessible restroom or a nightclub, it’s still the place of one’s Baptism. Making a little pilgrimage there, even if it’s a bit sad, reminds us that we have eternal life ahead of us and that the Kingdom is our true home.

  14. Suburbanbanshee says:

    (And yeah, the place of my Baptism is now either a parish activity center, a bathroom, a closet, or the wedding chapel, not quite sure which. So I have skin in this game.)

  15. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Looking anew at item D, it seems that the baptistry of one’s current parish church could be the default location – even if one were baptized elsewhere,- and that other baptistries and the site of one’s own baptism are different yet valid options. That would make the most sense for the folks whose baptismal parishes were suppressed or destroyed, people who have moved far from where they lived as infants, those who have converted from a non-Catholic background, etc. It’s just prisoners and the severely disabled who would then have a great difficulty in addressing item D.

  16. brianvzn says:

    Some suggested readings for the Year of Faith.
    1) Iota Unum
    2) The Documents of Vatican II (Abbott)
    3) The Rhine Flows into the Tiber

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