VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2006 (Zenit.org).- A plenary indulgence can be gained by participants in the meeting of ecclesial movements and new communities with the Pope in St. Peter’s Square on the eve of Pentecost.
The decision was made by the Apostolic Penitentiary, a tribunal of the Holy See, in response to a request of Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
Thus the plenary indulgence already established for the solemnity of Pentecost by the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum is extended.
According to the Enchiridion, a plenary indulgence is granted “to the faithful who, in a church or oratory, participates devoutly in the solemn signing or praying of the hymn ‘Veni, Creator’ … on the solemnity of Pentecost.”
Archbishop Rylko requested that all the faithful who participate in the world meeting of ecclesial movements and new communities with Benedict XVI on June 3, the eve of Pentecost, be able to obtain on that occasion the gift of a plenary indulgence.
Those faithful will be able to gain the indulgence “even if they cannot get into the patriarchal Vatican basilica,” stated the Apostolic Penitentiary, in a statement signed by Cardinal Francis Stafford, major penitentiary.
The document reminds participants that to gain a plenary indulgence, in addition to the stipulated solemn praying or singing of the “Veni, Creator,” they must have a “spirit removed from all sin and fulfill the usual conditions” — sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayers for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.
Canon 992 of the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1471, state: “An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”
“An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin. Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead,” it continues.
The first world meeting of ecclesial movements and new communities drew 100,000 to St. Peter’s Square for an encounter with Pope John Paul II at Pentecost 1998.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity confirmed that leaders of some 100 movements and communities have offered to help the dicastery in organizing the event.