Pope Benedict XVI has authorized the granting of a plenary, or full, indulgence to highlight the Year of Faith and to encourage meditation on the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven.
The plenary indulgence is being offered to pilgrims who visit sacred shrines, to Catholics who participate in local events connected to the Year of Faith, and to those who may be too ill or otherwise prevented from physical participation. It can be granted on behalf of the individual petitioner or on behalf of departed souls.
The conditions for the special Year of Faith indulgence include the normal requirements set by the Church for all plenary indulgences: that the individual receives the sacrament of reconciliation, receives the Eucharist, and prays for the intention of the pope.
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