Vatican announces indulgences for World Youth Day
VATICAN CITY — To help encourage prayers for a spiritually fruitful World Youth Day in Madrid, the Vatican announced Aug. 11 that Pope Benedict XVI had authorized a special indulgence for anyone who, "with a contrite spirit," raises a "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," a Vatican decree said.
The decree included the offer of a plenary, or full, indulgence to all the young people who will gather with the pope in Madrid. World Youth Day runs Aug. 16-21 in the Spanish capital; the pope arrives Aug. 18.
An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven. The conditions necessary for receiving a plenary indulgence include having recently gone to confession, receiving the Eucharist and offering prayers for the intentions of the pope.
Pope Benedict decreed that World Youth Day participants can receive a plenary indulgence if they participate with prayerful devotion in any sacred event or "pious exercise" as well as attend the closing Mass, receive the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist and offer prayers for the pope's intentions.
The decree, signed by Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, head of the Vatican office that deals with indulgences, said a partial indulgence also is available to all Catholics who are contrite for their sins and offer their prayers with the pope for young Catholics.
The cardinal also asked priests around the world to make themselves available to hear the confessions of those who want the indulgence and to encourage public prayers for the success of World Youth Day.
In central Madrid's Buen Retiro Park, 200 portable confessionals will be set up for confessions that begin Aug. 14. The pope will hear confessions at the park Aug. 20.
— Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
Pictured above: At Madrid's Buen Retiro Park Aug. 11, a young girl looks out of one of the 200 temporary confessionals built for World Youth Day pilgrims. Pope Benedict XVI decreed that World Youth Day participants can receive a plenary indulgence for meeting certain conditions, including confession, during their participation. (CNS photo/Tom Tracy)
Total love for Jesus is the measure of a man of God, pope tells bishopsVATICAN CITY — The depth of a bishop or priest's love for Jesus and his willingness to give up everything for God are the litmus test for how well the pastor is fulfilling his ministry, Pope Francis said. "We are not the face of an organization...
Pope Francis to visit birthplace of his namesake on saint's feast dayVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will visit the birthplace of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, on the saint's feast day, Oct. 4. The Vatican confirmed the trip May 23. Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi said he was thrilled about the...
Be salt of the earth, not 'museum Christians,' pope says at MassVATICAN CITY — Christians are called to be the salt of the earth, and if they don't share the flavor of their faith, hope and love with others, they are simply "museum Christians," Pope Francis said. "Salt has meaning when it gives flavor...
Pope says Christians must recognize good others do, work with themVATICAN CITY — Christians are called to welcome and cooperate with the good accomplished by members of other religions or no religion at all, promoting a culture of dialogue and peace, Pope Francis said. "We are all children of God -- all...
Pope, visiting shelter, says Christian charity is witness of God's loveVATICAN CITY — Marking the 25th anniversary of the Missionaries of Charity soup kitchen and women's shelter at the Vatican, Pope Francis said that while unbridled capitalism has taught people that money is more important than anything else,...
Struggle for power in church is sin, pope says at MassVATICAN CITY — Careerism and a drive to seek power in the church are sins as old as the church itself, Pope Francis told a group of employees from Vatican Radio and from the Vatican's office for pilgrims and tourists. Commenting on the day's...
Vatican denies pope performed public exorcismVATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis solemnly laid both hands on the head of a young man in a wheelchair and prayed intently over him for several minutes, he was not performing an exorcism, said the Vatican spokesman. The young man, who was among...
When church is too serious, it loses its loving, tender side, pope saysVATICAN CITY — The Catholic Church needs to revive its loving and tender side, which gets lost when the church becomes too serious, Pope Francis said. The church has ended up with "deviations, sects and heresies when it got too serious, that...
Recognize your sin, ask forgiveness, pope says at MassVATICAN CITY — The key problem in everyone's relationship with God is not that they sin, but that they are not ashamed of their sin and don't ask forgiveness, Pope Francis said. In a homily about St. Peter's relationship with Jesus, Pope...
Pope says head of mission office teaches him about reality of churchVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which cares for the church in mission territories, has been teaching him about the nuts and bolts reality of the universal Catholic Church. "He...