By Junno Arocho
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In a decree signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, Penitentiary Major and Bishop Krzysztof Nykiel, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Holy Father has granted the faithful a Plenary Indulgence on the occasion of the Year of Faith. The indulgence will last the entire Year of Faith, from October 11th, 2012 to November 24th, 2013.
"The day of the fiftieth anniversary of the solemn opening of Vatican Council II 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," the statement read.
According to the 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."
Indicating that the primary objective of the Year of Faith is to "develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on this earth", the decree granted the Plenary Indulgence will be granted to the faithful who are "truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff."
The document states that those faithful who are unable to leave their residence due to illness or a legitimate cause can still receive a Plenary Indulgence if, during the times where the Holy Father or participating bishops words are broadcast through radio or television, 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."
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For the full text of the decree, go to http://www.zenit.org/article-35663?l=english