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Vatican announces indulgences for World Youth Day

By on Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Pope Francis decreed that those who attended would receive one plenary (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope Francis decreed that those who attended would receive one plenary (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

To help encourage prayers for a spiritually fruitful World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, the Vatican announced today that Pope Francis has authorised a special indulgence for those who attend the event’s liturgies and prayer services or follow along online in the proper spirit of prayer and contrition.

Pope Francis decreed that World Youth Day participants can receive one plenary, or full, indulgence a day if they meet the usual conditions. World Youth Day runs July 23-28; the pope arrives July 22.

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. The faithful must also carry the proper spirit of being “truly repentant and contrite” and participate in the gathering’s sacred events and “pious exercises” with prayerful devotion.

Those who are “legitimately prevented” from being physically present in Rio may also obtain the indulgence as long as they meet the same prayerful and “spiritual and sacramental conditions” as well as participate “in spirit” in the sacred liturgies and prayer services via television, radio or “new means of social communication,” the decree said.

The decree, signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, head of the Vatican office that deals with indulgences, said a partial indulgence is also available to all Catholics who, no matter where they are, offer prayers with the pope for young Catholics.

“With a contrite spirit, they will elevate fervent prayers to God, concluding with the official World Youth Day prayer” as well as prayers to the patroness of Brazil, Our Lady of Aparecida, and other saints, asking that they intercede on behalf of all young people to be “strengthened in the faith and live a holy life,” it said.

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.

The pope is set to hear the confessions of some of the young pilgrims in Rio’s Quinta da Boa Vista Park July 26.

  • NatOns

    “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.”

    Grey hairs might understand “an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven” and how it fits in with the Faith – even practically – but one must wonder how many in da Youf Minstries or even plain old young people understand this gift .. let alone pay any pious attention to it (other than as something Luther argued against as a money making venture by greedy popes etc, etc).

    P.S. What a wonder Pope Francis is .. not in being seen as an acceptably nice example of humility to the worldly mind .. but in his sincere, childlike, and knowing sense of actually being humbled even before the world (that amusing, dressing-up, nursery-play-time staff speaks volumes).

    God bless our Pope!

  • Kevin

    “the pope arrives July 22″

    Is there really time and money available to spend on Rio when headlines like this are published in secular sites such as The Drudge Report:

    “Christians enslaved, tortured in Sinai Desert” (links to:

    I have no doubt that the young people would understand if the Holy Father cancelled his appearance for the sake of this much more urgent issue for the Church. Would that not be an outstanding opportunity to show the world we are not indifferent to the suffering of our Christian brothers?

  • St Bosco

    Why doesnt he just put a dollor figure on indulgences so the faithfull dont have to run around and DO things. I mean, thats what they originally did, was to just go on and sell them.

  • Julian Lord

    You forgot to wear your tin-foil fish-hat, Bozo

  • Zelda Terrahawk

    This announcement of plenary indulgences will ensure that plenty of graces will be obtained from World Youth Day for the young people who attend.
    The Pope does not forget the young because they are the future and hope of the Church.
    I spoke to those who have attended previous WYDs and, to them, it was an unforgettable experience which encouraged and strengthened them in their lives and were often moved to tears.
    The spiritual benefits of WYDs far outweigh any monetary value.
    The Devil HATES WYD because so many vulnerable, youthful souls are snatched from him by the strength of prayer, learning and solidarity in the faith.
    It is how it should be in our faith.
    Once again, I attended an Extraordinary Form Mass and saw more young people attending than the OF.
    It should speak volumes that the young don’t want ”trendy” and a ”getting down wiv da kids” faith.

  • Laura Norder

    Hold up, folks! Troll alert!

  • Jon Brownridge

    I find this quite surprising, coming from this Pope.

  • Julian Lord

    Why ?

    Were you starting to imagine that he wasn’t a Catholic ?

  • Jon Brownridge

    It seems to be a throwback to another era…

  • NatOns

    For many weaned on the Age-of Aquarius starvation diet form of the Catholic Faith it must seem a throwback, it is not. Indulgence toward penitent sinners – you and I, and the youths and their leaders – has always been .. and must always be .. part of the discipline of the Church. Rather it is the imposition of due penalty that is virtually extinct, and so the notion of being released from this penalty (for wrongdoing) seems at odds with human experience; not well, Luther had no problem with such merciful release from rigorous discipline .. only its link to a papal/ ecclesial charity: i.e, the solidarity of Christ’s members in the fiery test on our faith here in mortal flesh and the fiery test of our deeds – for revelation on the Day – hereafter.

    “There reigns among men, by the hidden and benign mystery of the divine will, a supernatural solidarity whereby the sin of one harms the others just as the holiness of one also benefits the others. Thus the Christian faithful give each other mutual aid to attain their supernatural aim. A testimony of this solidarity is manifested in Adam himself, whose sin passed on through propagation to all men. But of this supernatural solidarity the greatest and most perfect principle, foundation and example is Christ himself to communion with whom God has called us.” Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution on Indulgences.

  • Jon Brownridge

    I’ll put it this way: Pope Francis is only 3 years older than I am.

  • Hey Man Bad Acid

    That Cross is a throwback to Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Ain’t seen one of them since ah was in the Nam.

  • Benedict Carter

    Age has little to do with it (except that yours is typical for those hippy dissidents who still claim to be Catholics even though they have dumped nearly all belief in what the Church actually teaches).

    The Pope is presumably a Catholic. You aren’t.

  • NatOns

    And and something younger than myself. I suspect he is not a little unused to the notion of issuing an Indulgence as are many of receiving it .. let alone acting on it (the discarding of indulgenced prayer by the Church is still one of the most enduring myths of the spirit of Vat II brigade, contrary to those of us who sought to implement its actual teachings). Yet Pope Francis’ swift confirmation for Cardinal Tauran’s announcement of a Plenary Indulgence – subject to the usual conditions – to those who received the Holy Father’s first blessing underlined (more strongly than most of his immediate actions) that Sacred Tradition was not to be seen as a mere ideological throwback. Modernism, not least in Marxian-Socialist political revisionism and liberalist enlightenment deconstructionism, has been at work in the Catholic Church a good deal longer than he has or you or I have; even under Pius XII I recall the notion of an Indulgenced Prayer had become marked by not a few intellectual (sic) Catholics (and others) with distaste, ribaldry and indeed mockery, as were novenas, rosary crusades and even semi-hemi-demi-Pelagian prayer bouquets .. Karl Rahner’s revision being the most moderate and influential.

  • Jon Brownridge

    It seems to me that you protestors, the “New Protestants”, are the ones who have abandoned the Church. How does your constant criticism of Pope Francis make you a good Catholic. I support the Church fully in her pastoral obligations and involve myself constantly in Catholic action through my parish work and elsewhere. I am a Catholic. You are a Protestant.