Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pope Grants Plenary Indulgence for Year of Faith

by Steve Ray on October 9, 2012

Apostolic Penitentiary Issues Decree on Occasion of the Year of Faith

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 5, 2012 (Zenit.org) By Junno Arocho.
In a decree signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, Penitentiary Major and Bishop Krzysztof Nykiel, regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Holy Father has granted the faithful a Plenary Indulgence on the occasion of the Year of Faith. The indulgence will last the entire Year of Faith, from October 11th, 2012 to November 24th, 2013.

“The day of the fiftieth anniversary of the solemn opening of Vatican Council II the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has decreed the beginning of a Year especially dedicated to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation, through the reading of – or better still the pious meditation upon – the Acts of the Council and the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” the statement read.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “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.”

Indicating that the primary objective of the Year of Faith is to “develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on this earth”, the decree granted the Plenary Indulgence will be granted to the faithful who are “truly penitent, take Sacramental Confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

The document states that those faithful who are unable to leave their residence due to illness or a legitimate cause can still receive a Plenary Indulgence if, during the times where the Holy Father or participating bishops words are broadcast through radio or television, they recite “the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and other prayers that concord with the objectives of the Year of Faith, offering up the suffering and discomfort of their lives.”
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On ZENIT’s web page:
For the full text of the decree, go to http://www.zenit.org/article-35663?l=english

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Two New Doctors of the Church

by Steve Ray on October 9, 2012

Vatican City, Oct 7, 2012 / 10:31 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI has named two new Doctors of the Church: the 16th century Spanish priest St. John of Avila and the 12th century German nun St. Hildegard of Bingen.

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St. John of Avila was a priest, mystic, preacher and scholar. Pope Benedict announced his intention to name him a Doctor of the Church at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid last August, much to the delight of Spanish Catholics. Today’s declaration took place in a brief ceremony prior to Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

The Pope said St. John was “a man of God” who “united constant prayer to apostolic action.”

“He dedicated himself to preaching and to the more frequent practice of the sacraments, concentrating his commitment on improving the formation of candidates for the priesthood, of religious and of lay people, with a view to a fruitful reform of the Church.”
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Turning to St. Hildegard of Bingen, Pope Benedict called her “an important female figure of the 12th century” who “offered her precious contribution to the growth of the Church of her time” by “employing the gifts received from God and showing herself to be a woman of brilliant intelligence, deep sensitivity and recognized spiritual authority.”

Among her vast array of talents, St. Hildegard was a writer, composer, philosopher and mystic, as well as an abbess and founder of several monasteries. In May 2012 Pope Benedict formally added her to the Church’s roster of saints, extending her liturgical feast throughout the world.

“The Lord granted her a prophetic spirit and fervent capacity to discern the signs of the times,” explained the Pope to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. St. Hildegard, he said, “nurtured an evident love of creation, and was learned in medicine, poetry and music” but “above all” she “maintained a great and faithful love for Christ and the Church.”

The title of Doctor of the Church is bestowed upon a saint whose writings are deemed to be of universal importance to the Church. The Pope must also declare the individual to be of “eminent learning” and “great sanctity.” Other Doctors of the Church include St. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, St. Francis de Sales, and St. Catherine of Siena.

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