Vatican extends 500 years of Christian indulgence

TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, Pope Francis has extended until the end of this year the possibility for Catholics to obtain a plenary indulgence to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Phillippines.

“The decision comes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected the activities of many people, and in particular at the request of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP),” the news agency of the Philippines reported. CBCP.

The CBCP had sent a letter to the Vatican on March 7, 2022 explaining that “ecclesial and spiritual activities” planned in the dioceses for the Jubilee Year had not been fully carried out amid government-imposed quarantines to stem the spread of Covid-19.

In response, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, issued a decree on March 17 extending the possibilities for pilgrims visiting one of the “Jubilee churches” to obtain indulgences until December 31, 2022.

A plenary indulgence is the remission or release of a person from temporal punishment which his sins warrant. Temporal punishment is the punishment God inflicts either on earth or in purgatory for sins.

The Philippines had secured a Jubilee Year for the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country, with Pope Francis naming 537 Jubilee churches in the Philippines, including 13 in Cebu.

The indulgence was initially only available from April 4, 2021 to April 22, 2022.

To obtain the indulgence, pilgrims must go to confession, receive the Eucharist and pray for the Pope’s intentions, in addition to praying for “the fidelity of the Filipino people to their Christian vocation, for the increase of priestly and religious vocations and for the defense of the family, ending with the Our Father, the profession of faith and an invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The 13 Jubilee Churches of Cebu are the Metropolitan Cathedral of Cebu, the Archdiocesan Shrine of San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish in Cebu City, St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Carcar City, St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Argao, the San Guillermo de Aquitania parish in Dalaguete, Patrocinio de Maria parish in Boljoon, Saint Anne parish in Barili, Saint Francis of Assisi parish in Balamban, Sts. Peter and Paul at Bantayan, Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Bogo City, Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish in Danao City, St. Joseph National Shrine and Parish in Mandaue City, and Our Lady of the Rule National Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City.

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