Skip to comments.Pope authorizes plenary indulgences marking Vatican II anniversary
Posted on 11/29/2005 9:32:31 PM PST by murphE
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To mark the 40th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council, Catholics can receive a plenary indulgence for taking part in any public or private devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Pope Benedict XVI authorized the special Dec. 8 indulgences to encourage the faithful to carry out the council's teachings on peace, justice and charity, said U.S. Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican court dealing with indulgences and matters of conscience.
The pope expressed his hopes that all the church would be united with him and their "common mother," Mary, on Dec. 8, so that the faithful "may be strengthened in their faith, follow Christ with greater dedication, and love their brothers and sisters with more ardent charity," said the cardinal.
The Vatican published the cardinal's statement announcing the indulgences and outlining the requirements for receiving them Nov. 29. Dec. 8 is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due for sins committed. A plenary indulgence is the remission of all punishment.
Cardinal Stafford said that to obtain the special Dec. 8 feast day indulgences one must fulfill the normal requirements set by the church for all plenary indulgences, which include that within a reasonably short period of time the person goes to confession, receives the Eucharist and prays for the intentions of the pope, all in a spirit of total detachment from the attraction of sin.
The faithful must also participate in a formal prayer service in honor of Mary "or at least openly demonstrate their devotion to Mary" by praying before an image of the Immaculate Conception on display for public veneration. The faithful should also recite the Lord's Prayer, the creed and a prayer to Mary.
Cardinal Stafford said the special indulgence was being offered to mark the 40th anniversary of the formal close of the Second Vatican Council by Pope Paul VI, who proclaimed Mary "the mother of the Church" and the "spiritual mother of us all."
Catholics who cannot visit a Marian shrine or pray before a communal image of Mary because of illness or other serious reason could still earn the indulgence "in their own home or wherever they are" Dec. 8, he said.
ping lists please
Text from the Vatican Information Service
PLENARY INDULGENCE FOR SOLEMNITY IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
VATICAN CITY, NOV 29, 2005 (VIS) - According to a decree made public today, Benedict XVI will grant the faithful a Plenary Indulgence for the forthcoming Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8, 2005). The decree is signed by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Fr. John Francis Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
"December 8," the text reads, "will mark 40 years since Servant of God Paul VI, Supreme Pontiff, who had already proclaimed the Virgin Mary as Mother of the Church, in closing Vatican Council II dedicated great praise to the Virgin who, as Mother of Christ, is Mother of God and spiritual Mother to us all.
"On this Solemnity, the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, when he renders public homage of praise to Mary Immaculate, has the heartfelt desire that the entire Church should join with him, so that all the faithful, united in the name of the common Mother, become ever stronger in the faith, adhere with greater devotion to Christ, and love their brothers with more fervent charity. From here - as Vatican Council II very wisely taught - arise works of mercy towards the needy, observance of justice, and the defense of and search for peace."
For this reason, the decree continues, the Holy Father "has kindly granted the gift of Plenary Indulgence which may be obtained under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, on the forthcoming Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, by the faithful if they participate in a sacred function in honor of the Virgin, or at least offer open testimony of Marian devotion before an image of Mary Immaculate exposed for public veneration, adding the recitation of the Our Father and of the Creed, and some invocation to the Virgin."
The document concludes by recalling that faithful who "through illness or other just cause," are unable to participate in a public ceremony or to venerate an image of the Virgin, "may obtain a Plenary Indulgence in their own homes, or wherever they may be, if, with the soul completely removed from any form of sin, and with the intention of observing the aforesaid conditions as soon as possible, they unite themselves in spirit and in desire to the Supreme Pontiff's intentions in prayer to Mary Immaculate, and recite the Our Father and the Creed."
.../DECREE INDULGENCE/STAFFORD VIS 051129 (420)
I was thinking of posting the VIS version this afternoon, and didn't because of that very reason....
You know I thought of that...but I wanted other Catholics to know about this great opportunity. Maybe the usual suspects may actually learn something to boot.
"I was thinking of posting the VIS version this afternoon, and didn't because of that very reason...."
That's right! Your avoiding controversy remember!
(Nothing wrong with standing to the side and looking...)
Well, on one side we have...
"... has kindly granted the gift of Plenary Indulgence which may be obtained under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, on the forthcoming Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, by the faithful if they participate in a sacred function in honor of the Virgin, or at least offer open testimony of Marian devotion before an image of Mary Immaculate exposed for public veneration, adding the recitation of the Our Father and of the Creed, and some invocation to the Virgin."
and on the other side we have...
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
- 1John 1:9
"I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin."
- Psalms 32
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Sure would be nice if they could keep that in mind!
good news bump
And as usual, I'll remind you that indulgences cleanse the temporal punishment remaining from sins that have been forgiven, so your Scripture citations don't apply. And, as always, God is free to remit any temporal punishment he wishes to, but he is also free in justice to hold us to it.
Does just going to Mass on the feast day (remember that the IC is a holyday of obligation in the US, but not everywhere) count as a "formal prayer service in honor of Mary"? I think perhaps it does!
"I'll remind you that indulgences cleanse the temporal punishment remaining from sins that have been forgiven"
So, as a Catholic, when you pray and as God to forgive you, per 1st John, you are only half forgiven?
At our chapel we pray the Rosary before every mass, but I wonder if there will be something special planned because of this announcement.
"...In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures."
Those quotes I posted are not from Paul.
...has kindly granted the gift of Plenary Indulgence which may be obtained under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff), with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, on the forthcoming Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, by the faithful if they participate in a sacred function in honor of the Virgin, or at least offer open testimony of Marian devotion before an image of Mary Immaculate exposed for public veneration, adding the recitation of the Our Father and of the Creed, and some invocation to the Virgin.
This is a churchwide feast day even if it's not a day of obligation everywhere, so the masses will be dedicated to her.
I said this earlier this month, but I don't mind repeating it. There are two consequences to sin: the guilt and the offense against God. Not only does one have to make a sincere act of contrition to God for the guilt. An obligation to repair the offense against God is also incurred. Why do you think Our Lord told the parable about wicked servant (Matthew 18)? Also, why does Our Lord say, "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. (Matthew 12: 32)"?
"The pope expressed his hopes that all the church would be united with him and their "common mother," Mary, on Dec. 8, so that the faithful "may be strengthened in their faith, follow Christ with greater dedication, and love their brothers and sisters with more ardent charity," said the cardinal."
Viva il Papa! Great news. Thanks for this post.
I'll answer your question with a question. Suppose you are a father. Your son comes to you and confesses, "Dad, I was careless and threw a baseball through the plate glass window. I'm sorry; please forgive me."
Here's my question: If you tell him he's forgiven, but that he still has to pay to replace the window, is he only half-forgiven?
Sin offends God. In justice, he has every right to demand that we make restitution, both to him and to those we have offended. In his mercy, he does not demand that we repay what we are unable to repay -- we cannot make a restitution of infinite value to repay the infinite offense of sin (St. Anselm) -- only Christ the God-man can do that. But he can certainly demand that we make restitution to the degree we are able. This doesn't help him, but it does help us, by helping us, albeit imperfectly, understand the malice of our sins.
Thanks for the very good post!
"I said this earlier this month, but I don't mind repeating it. There are two consequences to sin: the guilt and the offense against God."
So you are saying, Catholics believe God forgives you but is STILL going to punish you??? What exactly do you believe an "indulence" repairs?
"Why do you think Our Lord told the parable about wicked servant (Matthew 18)?"
The wicked servant went out and committed more (new) sin after he was forgiven!
"But he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come."
Rather than draw conclusions about the ability of a sin to be forgiven "in the world to come" we should look at how the other Gospel writers understood Jesus' statement.
"I assure you: People will be forgiven for all sins and whatever blasphemies they may blaspheme. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"
Clearly he is refering to a sin that will never be forgiven - a sin that will surely take you to hell.
I know you've been around these threads before, so you must know what the Church teaches by now even if you reject it, but for the sake of those who may not know, and sincerely desire to learn...
218. Q. Why does the priest give us a penance after confession?
A. The priest gives us a penance after confession, that we may satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to our sins.
"Penance," The little penance the priest gives may not fully satisfy God, but shows by our accepting it that we are willing to do penance. What, for example, is a penance of five "Our Fathers" compared with the guilt of one mortal sin, for which we would have to suffer in Hell for all eternity? Then think of the penances performed by the Christians many centuries ago, in the early ages of the Church. There were four stages of penance. The churches were divided into four parts by railings and gates. The first railing across the church was at some distance from the altar, the second was a little below the middle of the church, and the third was near the door. Those who committed great sins had to stand clad in coarse garments near the entrance of the church, and beg the prayers of those who entered. After they had done this kind of penance for a certain time, they were allowed to come into the church as far as the second railing. They were allowed to hear the sermon, but were not permitted to be present at the Mass. After doing sufficient penance, they were allowed to remain for Mass, but could not receive Holy Communion. When they had performed all the penance imposed upon them, they were allowed to receive the Sacraments and enjoy all the rights and privileges of faithful children of the Church. These penances lasted for many days and sometimes for years, according to the gravity of the sins committed. The sins for which these severe penances were performed were generally sins that had been committed publicly, and hence the penance, amendment, and reparation had also to be public.
"Temporal Punishment," Every sin has two punishments attached to it. one called the eternal and the other the temporal. Let me explain by an example. If 1, turning highway robber, waylay a man, beat him and steal his watch, I do him, as you see, a double injury, and deserve a double punishment for the twofold crime of beating and robbing him. He might pardon me for the injuries caused by the beating, but that would not free me from the obligation of restoring to him his watch or its value, for the fact that he forgives me for the act of stealing does not give me the right to keep what justly belongs to him. Now, when we sin against God we in the first place insult Him, and secondly rob Him of what is deservedly His due; namely, the worship, respect, obedience, love, etc., that we owe Him as our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer.
In the Sacrament of Penance God forgives the insult offered by sinning, but requires us to make restitution for that of which the sin has deprived Him. In every sin there is an act of turning away from God and an act of turning to some creature in His stead. If a soldier pledged to defend his country deserts his army in time of war, he is guilty of a dishonorable, contemptible act; but if, besides deserting his own army, he goes over to aid the enemy, he becomes guilty of another and still greater crime-he becomes a traitor for whom the laws of nations reserve their severest penalties. By sin we, who in Baptism and Confirmation have promised to serve God and war against His enemies, desert Him and go over to them; for Our Blessed Lord has said: He that is not with Me is against Me.
We pay the temporal debt due to our sins, that is, make the restitution, by our penances upon earth, or by our suffering in Purgatory, or by both combined.
The penances performed upon earth are very acceptable and pleasing to God; and hence we should be most anxious to do penance here that we may have less to suffer in Purgatory. St. Augustine, who had been a great sinner, often prayed that God might send him many tribulations while on earth, that he might have less to endure in Purgatory. Therefore, after performing the penance the priest gives you in the confessional, it is wise to impose upon yourself other light penances in keeping with your age and condition, but never undertake severe penances or make religious vows and promises without consulting your confessor. In every case be careful first of all to perform the penance imposed upon you in the reception of the Sacrament. The penance given in confession has a special value, which none of the penances selected by yourself could have.
If you forget to say your penance, your confession is not on that account worthless; but as the penance is one of the parts of the Sacrament, namely, the satisfaction, you should say it as soon as possible, and in the manner your confessor directs. If you cannot perform the penance imposed by your confessor, you should inform him of that fact, and ask him to give you another in its stead.
Indulgences also are a means of satisfying for this temporal punishment. Sometimes God inflicts the temporal punishment in this world by sending us misfortunes or sufferings, especially such as are brought on by the sins committed.
219. Q. Does not the Sacrament of Penance remit all punishment due to sin?
A. The Sacrament of Penance remits the eternal punishment due to sin, but it does not always remit the temporal punishment which God requires as satisfaction for our sins.
Remember that Baptism differs from Penance in this respect, that although they both remit sin, Penance does not take away all the temporal punishment, while Baptism takes away all the punishment, both eternal and temporal; so that if we died immediately after Baptism we would go directly to Heaven, while if we died immediately after Penance we would generally go to Purgatory to make satisfaction for the temporal debt.
220. Q. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin?
A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin to teach us the great evil of sin, and to prevent us from failing again.
221. Q. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?
A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.
"Chief," but not the only means. "Fasting," especially the fasts imposed by the Church-in Lent for instance. Lent is the forty days before Easter Sunday during which we fast and pray to prepare ourselves for the resurrection of Our Lord, and also to remind us of His own fast of forty days before His Passion. "Almsgiving"--that is, money or goods given to the poor. "Spiritual" works of mercy are those good works we do for persons' souls. "Corporal" works of mercy are those we do for their bodies. "Ills of life"--sickness or poverty or misfortune, especially when we have not brought them upon ourselves by sin.
231. Q. What is an indulgence?
A. An indulgence is the remission in whole or in part of the temporal punishment due to sin.
I have explained before what the temporal punishment is; namely, the debt which we owe to God after He has forgiven our sins, and which we must pay in order that satisfaction be made. It is, as I said, the value of the watch we must return after we have been pardoned for the act of stealing. I said this punishment must be blotted out by our penance. Now, the Church gives us an easy means of so doing, by granting us indulgences. She helps us by giving us a share in the merits of the Blessed Virgin and of the saints. All this we have explained when speaking in the Creed of the communion of saints.
232 Q. Is an indulgence a pardon of sin, or a license to commit sin?
A. An indulgence is not a pardon of sin, nor a license to commit sin, and one who is in a state of mortal sin cannot gain an indulgence.
If you are in a state of mortal sin you lose the merit of any good works you perform. God promises to reward us for good works, and if we are in the state of grace when we do the good works, God will keep His promise and give us the reward; but if we are in mortal sin, we have no right or claim to any reward for good works, because we are enemies of God. For this reason alone we should never remain even for a short time in mortal sin, since it is important for us to have all the merit we can. Even when we will not repent and return to Him, God rewards us for good works done by giving us some temporal blessings or benefits here upon earth. He never allows any good work to go unrewarded any more than He allows an evil deed to go unpunished. Although God is so good to us we nevertheless lose very much by being in a state of mortal sin; for God's grace is in some respects like the money in a bank: the more grace we receive and the better we use it, the more He will bestow upon us. When you deposit money in a savings bank, you get interest for it; and when you leave the interest also in the bank, it is added to your capital, and thus you get interest for the interest. So God not only gives us grace to do good, but also grace for doing the good, or, in other words, He gives us grace for using His grace.
233. Q. How many kinds of indulgences are there?
A. There are two kinds of indulgences-plenary and partial.
234. Q. What is a plenary indulgence?
A. A plenary indulgence is the full remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.
"Full remission"; so that if you gained a plenary indulgence and died immediately afterwards, you would go at once to Heaven. Persons go to Purgatory, as you know, to have the temporal punishment blotted out; but if you have no temporal punishment to make satisfaction for, there is no Purgatory for you. Gaining a plenary indulgence requires proper dispositions, as you may understand from its very great advantages. To gain it we must not only hate sin and be heartily sorry even for our venial sins, but we must not have a desire for even venial sin. We should always try to gain a plenary indulgence, for in so doing we always gain at least part of it, or a partial indulgence, greater or less according to our dispositions.
235. Q. What is a partial indulgence?
A. A partial indulgence is the remission of a part of the temporal punishment due to sin.
236. Q. How does the Church by means of indulgences remit the temporal punishment due to sins?
A. The Church by means of indulgences remits the temporal punishment due to sin by applying to us the merits of Jesus Christ, and the superabundant satisfactions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the saints, which merits and satisfactions are its spiritual treasury.
"Superabundant" means more than was necessary. (See explanation of communion of saints in the "Creed.")
237. Q. What must we do to gain an indulgence?
A. To gain an indulgence we must be in a state of grace and perform the works enjoined.
"Works"--to visit certain churches or altars; to give alms; to say certain prayers, etc. For a plenary indulgence it is required in addition to go to confession and Holy Communion, and to pray for the intention of our Holy Father the Pope; for this last requirement it is sufficient to recite one Our Father and one Hail Mary. Now, what does praying for the intention of the Pope or bishop or anyone else mean? It does not mean that you are to pray for the Pope himself, but for whatever he is praying for or wishes you to pray for. For instance, on one day the Holy Father may be praying for the success of some missions that he is establishing in pagan lands; on another, he may be praying that the enemies of the Church may not succeed in their plans against it; on another, he may be praying for the conversion of some nation, and so on; whatever he is praying for or wishes you to pray for is called his intention.
There are three basic ways of gaining a partial indulgence. A partial indulgence can be gained by:
1.raising one's heart to God amidst the duties and trials of life and making a pious invocation, even only mentally;
2.giving of oneself or one's goods to those in need;
3.voluntarily depriving oneself of something pleasing, in a spirit of penance.
A partial indulgence is also granted for reciting various well-known prayers, such as the acts of faith, hope, charity and contrition, and for performing certain acts of devotion, such as making a Spiritual Communion.
To gain an indulgence you must also have the intention of gaining it. There are many prayers that we sometimes say to which indulgences are attached, and we do not know it. How can we gain them? By making a general intention every morning while saying our prayers to gain all the indulgences we can during the day, whether we know them or not. For example, there is a partial indulgence granted us every time we devoutly make the Sign of the Cross or devoutly use an article of devotion, such as a crucifix or scapular, properly blessed by any priest. Many may not know of these indulgences; but if they have the general intention mentioned above, they will gain the indulgence every time they perform the work. In the same way, by having this intention all those who are in the habit of going to confession every two weeks are able to gain a plenary indulgence when they fulfill the other prescribed conditions for gaining a plenary indulgence, even when they do not know that they are gaining the indulgence.
Since partial indulgences were formerly designated by specific amounts of time, you sometimes see printed after a little prayer: An indulgence of forty days, or, an indulgence of one hundred days, or of a year, etc. What does that mean? Does it mean that a person who said that prayer would get out of Purgatory forty days sooner than he would have if he had not said it? No. I told you how the early Christians were obliged to do public penance for their sins; to stand at the door of the church and beg the prayers of those entering. Sometimes their penance lasted for forty days, sometimes for one hundred days, and sometimes for a longer period. By an indulgence of forty days the Church granted the remission of as much of the temporal punishment as the early Christians would have received for doing forty days' public penance. Just how much of the temporal punishment God blotted out for forty days' public penance we do not know; but whatever it was, God blotted out just the same for one who gained an indulgence of forty days by saying a little prayer to which the indulgence was attached. But why, you may wonder, did the early Christians do such penances? Because in those days their faith was stronger than ours, and they understood better than we do the malice of sin and the punishment it deserves. Later the Christians grew more careless about their religion and the service of God. The Church, therefore, wishing to save its children, made it easier for them to do penance. If it had continued to impose the public penances, many would not have performed them, and thus would have lost their souls.
See Campion's explanation above. The indulgence helps pay for the offense against God.
The wicked servant went out and committed more (new) sin after he was forgiven!
Yes, but he was forced to not only repay for his new sin, but for his entire debt.
"See Campion's explanation above"
ping to 28
"I know you've been around these threads before, so you must know what the Church teaches by now even if you reject it, "
Yes I have been around. But I must confess, trying to get one's head around Catholic theology at times feels like arm wrestling an octopus.
""Temporal Punishment," Every sin has two punishments attached to it. one called the eternal and the other the temporal. Let me explain by an example. If 1, turning highway robber, waylay a man, beat him and steal his watch, I do him, as you see, a double injury, and deserve a double punishment for the twofold crime of beating and robbing him."
This idea of temporal and eternal punishement seem like a way of giving lip service to "free forgiveness" but still allowing the Church to extract the penalty from your hide! It's like you want to take one sin and turn it into two. God will forgive you for one, but your going to pay us for the other.
"requires us to make restitution for that of which the sin has deprived Him."
What in the world do you think Jesus died to pay for???
I would invite you all back to the simple. clear words of Holy Scripture...
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
- 1John 1:9
If we confess our sins
he is FAITHFUL and JUST to
1. forgive us our sins
2. and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness
ALL unrighteousness - not half.
The thread will, no doubt, soon become a sewer. The article itelf, though, stands on its own merits.
Of course, that statement is true. It doesn't say how God cleanses us though.
I already agreed with that. Now, what about the extent to which you or I can pay? Aren't we morally obligated to do something about that?
Restitution always deals with an offended third party.
"Third" party? Why "third"?
Restitution is taught in the NT, but God is in need of no man's restitution.
God is "in need" of nothing from any created entity. That doesn't mean it's wrong to give him worship or honor or reverence, even though he has no need of it.
"It doesn't say how God cleanses us though."
It does my friend, it does!
1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The blood of Jesus cleanses us.
You are right. The news is good.
Salve Regina, Mater misericordiae,
Vita dulcedo et spes nostra salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes,
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eja ergo advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Jesum benedictum fructum ventris tui
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
That says what cleanses, not how.
Thanks for posting, I didn't know either. I still don't understand the requirements though, vis a vis the "praying for the intentions of the pope". What does that mean?
It may seem that way to you but it's really perfectly logical and just.
Let's say someone steals something from you, let's say your statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that is on your front lawn, (just trying to lighten things up). A short time later the thief feels remorse, he returns to your home, admits his crime and begs your forgiveness. You agree to forgive him, you get on the phone to the police right away and tell them that you don't want to press charges. The repentant thief thanks you and begins to walk away. Now, what do you do, just let him walk away? Of course not, you say, "hey, you still have to bring back my statue!"
Does this demand of the thief somehow lesson your gift of forgiveness? Somehow lessen the gift of not having him arrested and put in jail?
If you never required him to return the statue, do you think he would be less likely or more likely to appreciate your forgiveness? Don't you think he may start to think -"Oh stealing from this guy is no big deal, not only does he not have me arrested, he doesn't even want me to give back what I stole, he doesn't even care about what is rightfully his, it can't be that valuable."
Do you think he may be less likely or more likely to steal again, if he is never required to give back what he steals?
Also, the "participation in a formal prayer service for Mary" could that be attending the Mass for the Immaculate Conception on Dec 8th?
From post #17 :
"For a plenary indulgence it is required in addition to go to confession and Holy Communion, and to pray for the intention of our Holy Father the Pope; for this last requirement it is sufficient to recite one Our Father and one Hail Mary. Now, what does praying for the intention of the Pope or bishop or anyone else mean? It does not mean that you are to pray for the Pope himself, but for whatever he is praying for or wishes you to pray for. For instance, on one day the Holy Father may be praying for the success of some missions that he is establishing in pagan lands; on another, he may be praying that the enemies of the Church may not succeed in their plans against it; on another, he may be praying for the conversion of some nation, and so on; whatever he is praying for or wishes you to pray for is called his intention."
Thank you both for your replies!
I love being a Catholic! What a rich heritage we have!
Even secret sins offend and do damage to a "third party", The Body of Christ, the Church.
"Now, what about the extent to which you or I can pay? Aren't we morally obligated to do something about that?"
If you pay for something, it is no longer a gift.
"For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." 4Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,"
Luke. 11:2 He(Y'shua) said to them, When you pray, say: `Father, [Some
manuscripts: Our Father in heaven] hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come. [Some manuscripts: come. May your
will be done on earth as it is in heaven.]
Luke. 11:3 Give us each day our daily bread.
Luke. 11:4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins
against us. [Greek: everyone who is indebted to us] And lead
us not into temptation. [Some manuscripts: temptation but
deliver us from the evil one]