Due to the persistence of the pandemic and the measures to contain it, the Apostolic Penitentiary responded to the requests of numerous bishops by issuing a decree announcing the extension of plenary indulgences in a similar way to 2020.
Adriana Masotti – Vatican City
A Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, published today, establishes the possibility of winning plenary indulgences on the occasion of the commemoration of all the deceased faithful throughout the month of November. The text affirms that the decision has been made after having heard “the various pleas recently received from various Sacred Pastors of the Church, due to the continuing state of pandemic.” The Apostolic Penitentiary, therefore, “confirms and extends for the entire month of November 2021 all the spiritual benefits already granted on October 22, 2020”, through a similar decree with which, also because of the Cvid-19 , the plenary indulgences for the faithful departed were extended for the entire month of November 2020.
The spiritual opportunity that enlargement offers
The text continues to illustrate the benefits of the enlargement: “From the renewed generosity of the Church”, it is read, “the faithful will certainly draw pious intentions and spiritual vigor to direct their lives according to the law of the Gospel, in filial communion and devotion to the Supreme Pontiff, visible foundation and Pastor of the Catholic Church “.
Cardinal Piacenza: a very heartfelt devotion
This Decree, like the one issued last year, in the midst of a pandemic, aims to respond to the need to avoid meetings, a potential cause of the spread of Covid-19, which still affects the world population to a greater or lesser extent. In an interview with Vatican News on October 23, the Major Penitentiary Cardinal, Mauro Piacenza, explained that “the codified custom is that of a plenary indulgence on every day of the Octavary, from November 1 to 8, for all those that they visit cemeteries praying for the deceased, and on November 2, specifically, the visit to a church or oratory praying the Pater and the Creed. This is the standard. ” Cardinal Piacenza went on to say that it is a very heartfelt form of devotion, which is expressed by participating in Mass and visiting cemeteries, and therefore, so that people can dilute their visits without creating a crowd, “it has been decided to dilute in time the possibility of using indulgences and thus throughout the month of November you can purchase what is planned for the first 8 days of November “.
Revive faith in eternal life
Regarding the relationship between the solemnity of All Saints and the commemoration of the deceased, the Greater Penitentiary recalled that: “We are called in these days to rekindle our certainty in eternal glory and blessedness” and recommended: “Let us humbly ask and with confidence, forgiveness for those who have left us, for their small or great faults, those who are nevertheless already saved in the love of God, and let us renew our commitment of faith “.