Sacrament of Reconcilation
A SACRAMENT OF HEALING
In a recent interview, Pope Francis said: "I think of the Apostles in the storm when they invoke Jesus: ‘Master, we are drowning’. The prayer makes us understand our vulnerability. It is the scream of the poor, of those who are drowning, who feel threatened, alone. And in a difficult situation, desperate, it is important to know that there is the Lord to hold on to”.
Seeking to bring God’s mercy and consolation to people everywhere during the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis has authorized the granting of a plenary indulgence under specific conditions to all the faithful who are victims of coronavirus, as well as to their family members, health workers, and all others who care for them, including those who simply pray for them.
The Apostolic Penitentiary’s decree on the indulgences recalls that “the church has always at heart the assistance to the sick” especially at “this present moment in which the whole of humanity, threatened by an invisible and insidious virus that has already entered powerfully to become a part of the daily life of everyone, is hit day by day by anguished fears, new uncertainties and above all physical and moral suffering.”
The decree explains that the faithful who are afflicted by the coronavirus, including those on their death beds and unable to receive the Anointing of the Sick or those who are hospitalized, in quarantine or confined to their homes, can obtain the plenary indulgence.
To receive a plenary indulgence, the faithful in their hearts detach themselves from all sin and unite themselves spiritually through the means of social communication with Mass, the recital of the rosary or the Stations of the Cross or that they simply recite the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and say any prayer to Our Lady.
The decree extends this possibility to all health workers who are caring for the stricken at risk to their own health, including doctors, nurses, other hospital staff and volunteers, as well as family members and others who may care for Covid-19 victims in any way, also by simply praying for them.
The gift of special Indulgences is granted to the faithful suffering from COVID-19 disease, commonly known as Coronavirus, as well as to health care workers, family members and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them.
Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on the granting of special Indulgences to the faithful in the current pandemic
Directives from the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See
to be used in the Diocese of Scranton
With the increasing difficulty for individuals to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation due to the current health crisis, the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton are reminded that by having perfect contrition one can receive the forgiveness of sins, apart from going to confession.
Perfect contrition requires the following three things:
A love of God above all else
A sincere desire for the forgiveness from sin
Resolution to go to confession as soon as possible when the health crisis subsides
His Holiness, Pope Francis, has also granted a plenary indulgence under specific conditions.
The faithful who qualify for a plenary indulgence during the coronavirus pandemic:
Those suffering from the coronavirus illness
Health care workers, family members, and others caring for those with the coronavirus (exposing themselves to the virus) and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them.
The faithful must do at least one of the following:
Unite yourself spiritually through the media in the celebration of the Holy Mass
Recite the Rosary
Pious practice of the Way of the Cross (or other forms of devotion)
Recite the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and a Hail Mary
The faithful must be willing to perform all of the following as soon as possible: (considered the three usual conditions for a plenary indulgence)
Going to Confession
Receiving Holy Communion
Praying for the intentions of Pope Francis