Catholics can obtain a plenary indulgence at March for Life

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Catholics attending the 45th annual March for Life Jan. 19 in Washington will be able to obtain a plenary indulgence by going to confession, receiving Communion and praying for the intentions of the pope, according to a recent announcement from the Vatican.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge and Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl announced the plenary indulgence in a joint letter Dec. 20. The letter says Catholics who “take part in the sacred celebrations, along with the great assembly of people, throughout the whole course of the annual event that is called ‘March for Life,’” can obtain a plenary indulgence.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (No. 1471) defines a plenary indulgence as “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.”

The homebound are not excluded from receiving an indulgence. According to the letter, the aged, sick and anyone else due to ‘grave reason’ can receive the plenary indulgence “if they spiritually join themselves to the holy ceremonies, while also having offered prayers and their sufferings or the ailments of their own life to the merciful God.”

Several events taking place in accordance with the March for Life include Life is Very Good at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax Jan. 18 and 19. Others include: 

 The letter concludes with this wish: “May the efforts of all across this great nation to lift up the value and dignity of each human life continue to bear fruit, and may we all experience God’s blessings in this noble undertaking.” 

See a copy of the letter: 

bishop burbidge cardinal wuerl 2 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017

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