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Indulgence available for World Youth Day participants

Catholic World News - August 11, 2011

The Vatican has announced a plenary indulgence for participants in next week’s World Youth Day festivities in Madrid.

At the request of Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid, Pope Benedict XVI has authorized a plenary indulgence for those who “devoutly participate at some sacred function or pious exercise taking place in Madrid during the 26th World Youth Day,” under the usual conditions. (The usual conditions for a plenary indulgence include sacramental confession, a thorough detachment from sin, reception of the Eucharist, and prayer of the intentions of the Pope.)

A partial indulgence is also available to all the faithful who during the time of the World Youth Day meeting, “if, at least with a contrite spirit, they will raise their prayers to God the Holy Spirit, so that young people are drawn to charity and given the strength to proclaim the Gospel with their life.”

The indulgences are announced in a decree released by the Apostolic Penitentiary on August 11. The document—signed by Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, the head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, the secretary—notes that the indulgences were approved by Pope Benedict XVI.

As the opening of World Youth Day approaches, the Vatican has asked all priests in the area to make themselves available to hear confessions of the participants. The sacrament of reconciliation will be a particular focus of attention at this year's observances; Pope Benedict himself has scheduled time to hear confessions, in a bid to raise awareness of the sacrament.

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