Year of Mercy and Indulgences: Papal letter addresses abortion, prisoners, sick and elderly
Pope Francis has issued a letter, describing some specifics on the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which will begin on December 8th. It will be a period of grace and forgiveness.
In the letter, he states that since forgiveness cannot be denied to those who have repented, during the Jubilee of Mercy, the Pope will allow diocesan priests the discretion to absolve the sin of abortion, for women who have had one and have repented for it. Usually priests can only absolve this sin, with the direct permission of their bishop.
All faithful are called to make a pilgrimage, literally to the Holy Door, which will be open in every Cathedral or in parishes designated by the Diocesan Bishop. For those who will be traveling to Rome, the Holy Door in the cityâ??s four Papal Basilicas will also be included.
The pilgrimage is meant to be a sign of true conversion for oneâ??s past sins. In order to receive the indulgence, it must be linked to the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
The elderly and sick who are limited in their mobility, can receive the indulgence by receiving Communion, attending Mass and community prayer.
The letter also makes note of prisoners, who can obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of their prisons. The threshold of their cell, it reads, can symbolize the passage of the Holy Door.
ST. PIUS X
The Jubilee Year of Mercy will not exclude anyone. Faithful who choose to attend churches led by priests of the Fraternity of St. Pius X, will also receive the indulgence, when they go to confession with priests from that same fraternity. This despite, the friction the fraternity has had with the Catholic Church.
The purpose of the Jubilee Year of Mercy is to forgive the sins of those who have truly repented, so they can strengthen their faith and give testimony. It will run from December 8th to November 20th, 2016.