VATICAN CITY, JAN. 25, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the “Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the Gift of an Indulgence during the ‘Year of the Eucharist,'” published in Italian and Latin in the Jan. 15 Italian edition of L’Osservatore Romano.
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Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary
on the Gift of an Indulgence
During the “Year of the Eucharist”
The greatest of the miracles (cf. Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, Office of Readings, Second Reading) and supreme memorial of the Redemption which Our Lord Jesus Christ brought about through his Blood, the Eucharist, as sacrifice and sacrament, faultlessly produces the unity of the Church, sustains her with the power of supernatural grace, bathes her in ineffable joy and provides supernatural assistance to nourish the piety of the faithful and impel them to intensify and indeed to perfect their Christian life.
In consideration of this, moved by concern for the Church and to encourage both public and private devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II decreed in his Apostolic Letter “Mane Nobiscum Domine” of 7 October 2004 that a special “Year” be celebrated throughout the Church, to be called the “Year of the Eucharis.”
Furthermore, to encourage in the faithful throughout this year a deeper knowledge and more intense love for the ineffable “Mystery of Faith” and for them to obtain an ever greater abundance of spiritual fruit, at the Audience the Holy Father granted to the undersigned Moderators of the Apostolic Penitentiary last 17 December, the Holy Father himself desired to endow with indulgences certain specific acts of worship and devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, as follows:
1. A Plenary Indulgence is granted to each and every member of the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayers for the Supreme Pontiff’s intentions, in a spirit of total detachment from any inclination to sin), every time they take part, taking care to do so with pious attention, in a sacred liturgy or pious practice in honor of the Most Blessed Sacrament, solemnly exposed or preserved in the tabernacle.
2. A Plenary Indulgence is also granted to the clergy, members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and to the other faithful bound by law to recite the Liturgy of the Hours, as well as those who are accustomed to praying the Divine Office for pure devotion, every time, at the end of the day, when they recite Vespers and Compline before the Lord present in the tabernacle, either in community or privately.
Members of the faithful prevented by illness or by other just causes from visiting the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist in a church or chapel, may obtain the Plenary Indulgence in their own home, or wherever the impediment obliges them to be, as long as they are totally free from any desire to relapse into sin, as has been stated above, and intend to observe the three habitual conditions as soon as they possibly can; they will make the visit in spirit, should they deeply desire to do so, with faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar, and they will recite the “Our Father” and the Creed, and in addition, a pious invocation addressed to Jesus in the Sacrament (for example, “Praise and thanks be at every moment to the Blessed Sacrament”).
If they are unable even to do this, they may obtain a Plenary Indulgence if in their hearts they desire to join those who carry out in the usual way the works prescribed by the Indulgence and offer to Merciful God the infirmities and hardships of their lives with the determination to fulfill the three usual conditions as soon as possible.
Priests who carry out a pastoral ministry, especially parish priests, keeping in mind the “Suggestions and Proposals” indicated by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on 15 October 2004, should inform their faithful in the most appropriate way of this beneficial disposition of the Church; such priests should be ready and available to hear their confessions and, on days to be determined as “convenient” for the faithful, should solemnly lead public recitations of prayers to Jesus in the Eucharist.
Finally, in imparting catechesis, let them urge the faithful to give frequent open testimonies of faith and veneration to the Most Blessed Sacrament as is proposed in the General Concession IV of Enchiridion Indulgentiarium, and also to be aware of the other concessions of the same Enchiridion: n. 7, Adoration and Eucharistic procession; n. 8, Eucharistic and Spiritual Communion; n. 27, First Mass of newly ordained priests and jubilee celebrations of priestly and episcopal Ordinations.
This Decree comes into force during the “Year of the Eucharist” from the day on which it is published in L’Osservatore Romano, contrary dispositions notwithstanding.
From the Offices of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Rome, 25 December 2004, on the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Cardinal James Francis Stafford
Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv.
[English translation published on the Holy See’s Web page]