The Catholic News Service reported today that Pope Francis said that Catholic can receive a plenary indulgence on Dec. 11 and 12 for their Marian devotion if certain conditions are followed.
The news was announced today in a letter from Mexico City’s Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes. This letter was accompanied by a formal proclamation by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican tribunal that deals with matters of conscience and indulgences.
To receive an indulgence, a remission of the temporal punishment one deserves for one’s sins, the following conditions must be met. A person must:
— Prepare an altar or place of prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe at home.
— Watch one of the Masses being livestreamed or televised from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City Dec. 12, “actively participating … with devotion and with exclusive attention to the Eucharist.” Masses could be accessed at www.youtube.com/user/ BasilicadeGuadalupe at midnight or 12 p.m. CST.
— Complete the usual conditions for an indulgence by praying for the pope’s intentions, being in a state of grace after confession, attending a full Mass and receiving Communion. The letter said the last three conditions “can be fulfilled when public health guidance allows.”
According to Catechism of the Catholic Church, “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. An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.” Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead.