Current Events Tradition

Indulgences for World Youth Day

I wanted to pass along a little
nugget from this morning’s Vatican news briefing. Pope Benedict XVI
will be extending a plenary indulgence for all who are attending WYD in
Sydney and a partial indulgence for all who pray for the spiritual
goals and happy outcome of WYD.

To receive the partial indulgence, all you need to do is pray for
the success of WYD and the three “normal” things needed for an
indulgence — confession, communion and praying for the Pope’s

As the Catechism reminds us, an indulgence is a remission before God of the
temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.
other words, even though our sin is forgiven, there remain temporal
punishment (i.e. purgatory). An indulgence pardons us from the
remaining temporal punishment. An indulgence can be “partial”–removing
some of the time–or “plenary”–removing all of our temporal punishment.

This is one of those aspects of our faith that not everyone will
get excited about and admittedly, it isn’t the easiest concept to
grasp, but one of the various options the Church gives to us to help us
to become closer to God.

You can read more
about the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican office whose only job is
to handle matters of indulgences and issues of the “internal forum”
(i.e. stuff to be talked about under the seal of confession) at their

Below is the news brief from the Vatican Information Service:



VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2008 (VIS) – According to a
decree made public today and signed by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and
Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., respectively penitentiary major
and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant the
faithful Plenary Indulgence to faithful who
“gather at Sydney,
Australia, in the spirit of pilgrimage” to
participate in celebrations for 23rd World
Youth Day, and Partial Indulgence to “
all those who,
wherever they are, will pray for the spiritual goals of this meeting and
for its happy outcome”.


  The English-language decree reads:
“The youth meeting held in the year 2005 in Cologne, offered the
Apostolic Penitentiary an opportune occasion, with the authority of the
Supreme Pontiff, to open wide to youth the spiritual treasures of the
Church, with the aim of gathering singular fruits of


  “Hence, this year, from 15 to 20
July, in Sydney, ‘in the great southern land of
the Holy Spirit’ (according to the expression of John Paul II), will
celebrate the 23rd World Youth Day, with the theme: ‘You will receive
power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my


  Indeed”, the decree adds, “young people
gathered around the Vicar of Christ will participate in the sacred
functions and above all have recourse to the Sacraments of Reconciliation
and the Eucharist. In the Sacraments received with a sincere and humble
heart, they will earnestly desire to strengthen themselves in the Spirit,
and, confirmed by the Chrism of salvation, will openly witness the faith
before others even to the ends of the earth. May God grant that the very
presence of the Supreme Pontiff among the young people gathered in
express and render it such”.


The indulgences may be gained in the following


The Plenary
Indulgence is granted to the faithful who will devotedly participate at
some sacred function or pious exercise taking place during the 23rd World
Youth Day, including its solemn conclusion, so that, having received the
Sacrament of Reconciliation and being truly repentant, they receive Holy
Communion and devoutly pray according to the intentions of His


  “The Partial Indulgence is granted
to the faithful, wherever they are during the above-mentioned meeting, if,
at least with a contrite spirit, they will raise their prayer to God the
Holy Spirit, so that young people are drawn to charity and given the
strength to proclaim the Gospel with their life.


  “So that all the faithful may more
easily obtain these heavenly gifts, priests who have received legitimate
approval to hear sacramental confessions, should welcome them with a ready
and generous spirit and suggest public prayers to the faithful, for the
success of the same World Youth Day”.

VIS 080707

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