Decree on Sacrament of Penance & Plenary Indulgence

Decree on Sacrament of Penance & Plenary Indulgence

Sacrament of Penance

“Where the individual faithful find themselves in  the painful impossibility of receiving sacramental absolution, it should be remembered that perfect contrition, coming from the love of God, beloved above all things, expressed by a sincere request for forgiveness (that which the penitent is at present able to express) and accompanied by votum confessionis, that is, by the firm resolution to have recourse, as soon as possible, to sacramental confession, obtains forgiveness of sins, even mortal ones (cf. CCC, no. 1452).”

Perfect contrition requires:

  • the love of God above all
  • the sincere desire for forgiveness
  • the ardent commitment to receive the sacrament of reconciliation when available

Plenary  Indulgence

A plenary indulgence is “granted to the faithful suffering from Coronavirus, who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if, with a spirit detached from any sin, they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or if at least they will recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the will to fulfill the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer according to the Holy Father’s intentions), as soon as possible.”

  • “Health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends’ (Jn 15: 13), will obtain the same gift of the Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions.”

An indulgence is “the expression of the Church’s full confidence of being heard by the Father when – in view of Christ’s merits and, by His gift, those of Our Lady and the saints – she asks Him to mitigate or cancel the painful aspect of punishment by fostering its medicinal aspect through other channels of grace” (St. John Paul II, General Audience, September 29, 1999).

A Plenary Indulgence removes all temporal punishment due to sin (CCC 1471)






Given this twenty-fifth day of March, Solemnity of the Annunciation, in the year of our Lord two thousand and twenty, in the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.

(The Most Reverend) Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D.

Archbishop for the Military Services, USA

The Reverend Robert R. Cannon




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