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Indulgentarium Doctrina is an apostolic constitution about indulgences issued by Pope Paul VI on 1 January 1967.It responds to suggestions made at the Second Vatican Council, it substantially revised the practical application of the traditional doctrine relating to indulgences. The title is taken from the opening words of the original Latin text.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains."
Paul VI explained that sin brings punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice, which must be expiated either here on earth or else in the life to come. "These punishments are imposed by the just and merciful judgment of God for the purification of souls, the defense of the sanctity of the moral order and the restoration of the glory of God to its full majesty."Such expiation generally takes the form of penance, traditionally described as prayers, fasting, and alms, but also includes works of mercy and charity.
"That punishment or the vestiges of sin may remain to be expiated or cleansed and that they in fact frequently do even after the remission of guilt is clearly demonstrated by the doctrine on purgatory. In purgatory, in fact, the souls of those 'who died in the charity of God and truly repentant, but before satisfying with worthy fruits of penance for sins committed and for omissions' are cleansed after death with purgatorial punishments".
The document stressed that the Church's aim was not merely to help the faithful make due satisfaction for their sins, but chiefly to bring them to greater fervour of charity. For this purpose, Paul VI decreed that partial indulgences, previously granted as the equivalent of a certain number of days, months, quarantines,or years of canonical penance, simply supplement, and to the same degree, the remission that those performing the indulgenced action already gain by the charity and contrition with which they do it. "For all men who walk this earth daily commit at least venial sins; thus all need the mercy of God to be set free from the penal consequences of sin."
The abolition of the classification by years and days made it clearer than before that repentance and faith are required not only for remission of eternal punishment for mortal sin but also for any remission of temporal punishment for sin. "Indulgences cannot be gained without a sincere conversion of outlook and unity with God".
An indulgence is the remission before God of the temporal punishment due sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned. "The aim pursued by ecclesiastical authority in granting indulgences is not only that of helping the faithful to expiate the punishment due to sin but also that of urging them to perform works of piety, penitence and charity—particularly those which lead to growth in faith and which favor the common good."
An indulgence is partial or plenary accordingly, as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due sin. Indulgences can always be applied to the dead by way of suffrage.
The apostolic constitution ordered a revision of the official list of indulgenced prayers and good works, which had been called the Raccolta , "with a view to attaching indulgences only to the most important prayers and works of piety, charity and penance".This removed from the list of indulgenced prayers and good works, now called the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, many prayers for which various religious institutes, confraternities and similar groups had succeeded in the course of centuries in obtaining grants of indulgences, but which could not be classified as among "the most important". Religious institutes and the like, to which grants of plenary indulgences, for instance for visiting a particular church or shrine, had been previously made, were given a year from the date of promulgation of Indulgentiarum Doctrina to have them confirmed, and any that were not confirmed (mostly in a more limited way than before) within two years became null and void.
The Enchiridion Indulgentiarum reached its fourth edition in Latin in 1999,and is available on the Holy See's website. An English translation of the second edition (when the general grants were three, not four) is available online.
The Enchiridion Indulgentiarum differs from the Raccolta in that it lists "only the most important prayers and works of piety, charity and penance". On the other hand, it includes new general grants of partial indulgences that apply to a wide range of prayerful actions, and it indicates that the prayers that it does list as deserving veneration on account of divine inspiration or antiquity or as being in widespread use are only examplesof those to which the first these general grants applies: "Raising the mind to God with humble trust while performing one's duties and bearing life's difficulties, and adding, at least mentally, some pious invocation". In this way, the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, in spite of its smaller size, classifies as indulgenced an immensely greater number of prayers than were treated as such in the Raccolta.
There are four general grants of indulgence, which are meant to encourage the faithful to infuse a Christian spirit into the actions of their daily lives and to strive for perfection of charity. These indulgences are partial, and their worth therefore depends on the fervour with which the person performs the recommended actions:
Among the particular grants, which, on closer inspection, will be seen to be included in one or more of the four general grants, especially the first, the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum draws special attentionto four activities for which a plenary indulgence can be gained on any day, though only once a day:
A plenary indulgence may also be gained on some occasions, which are not everyday occurrences. They include:
The prayers specifically mentioned in the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum are not of the Latin Rite tradition alone, but also from the traditions of the Eastern Catholic Churches, such as the Akathistos, Paraklesis, Evening Prayer, and Prayer for the Faithful Departed (Byzantine), Prayer of Thanksgiving (Armenian), Prayer of the Shrine and the Lakhu Mara (Chaldean), Prayer of Incense and Prayer to Glorify Mary the Mother of God (Coptic), Prayer for the Remission of Sins and Prayer to Follow Christ (Ethiopian), Prayer for the Church, and Prayer of Leave-taking from the Altar (Maronite), and Intercessions for the Faithful Departed (Syrian).
Apart from the recurrences listed in the Enchiridion, special indulgences are granted on occasions of special spiritual significance such as a jubilee yearor the centenary or similar anniversary of an event such as the apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes or the celebration of a World Youth Day.
For those who are properly disposed, an indulgence, though none is normally authorized or indicated in these cases, can still be granted (if the Bishop or Ordinary has specifically authorized it, and has also gotten prior approval from the Apostolic Penitentiary beforehand) for a priest's first blessing to individuals after his Ordination Mass. Again, though some Bishops have not endorsed this particular practice, and with their and the Penitentiary's approval, a newly ordained Deacon can bless people following his Ordination Mass, with a partial indulgence (however, a Deacon, even if some indulgence is authorized, may still give only those blessings which are authorized to him in the Long or Short Book of Blessings or the Rituale Romanum). A specific plenary indulgence is normally authorized to those properly disposed who attend a newly ordained priest's First Mass (which will usually be a Mass of Thanksgiving). This is not the same as any indulgence granted, if any, from attending the Ordination Mass itself, since he only concelebrates that Mass, with the ordaining Bishop being the principal celebrant. Further, this only applies to his First Mass, and not to any subsequent Masses of Thanksgiving he offers afterwards, or to his first Mass at his first assignment.
Of particular significance is the plenary indulgence attached to the Apostolic Blessing that a priest is to impart when giving the sacraments to a person in danger of death, and which, if no priest is available, the Church grants to any rightly disposed Christian at the moment of death, on condition that that person was accustomed to say some prayers during life. In this case the Church itself makes up for the three conditions normally required for a plenary indulgence: sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the Pope's intentions.
All Souls' Day, also known as the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed and the Day of the Dead, is a day of prayer and remembrance for the souls of those who have died, which is observed by some Christian denominations. All Souls' Day is often, although not exclusively, celebrated in Western Christianity; Saturday of Souls is a related tradition more frequently observed in Eastern Christianity. Practitioners of All Souls' Day traditions often remember deceased loved ones in various ways on the day. Beliefs and practices associated with All Souls' Day vary widely among Christian churches and denominations.
Penance is repentance of sins as well as an alternate name for the Catholic, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession. It also plays a part in confession among Anglicans and Methodists, in which it is a rite, as well as among other Protestants. The word penance derives from Old French and Latin paenitentia, both of which derive from the same root meaning repentance, the desire to be forgiven. Penance and repentance, similar in their derivation and original sense, have come to symbolize conflicting views of the essence of repentance, arising from the controversy as to the respective merits of "faith" and "good works". Word derivations occur in many languages.
In the teaching of the Catholic Church, an indulgence is "a way to reduce the amount of punishment one has to undergo for sins". The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes an 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 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 all of the saints".
In the Catholic Church, the Apostolic Pardon is an indulgence given for the remission of temporal punishment due to sin. The Apostolic Pardon is given by a priest, usually along with Viaticum. It is not usually given as part of the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. However, if the Anointing of the Sick is given with Viaticum, in exceptional circumstances or an emergency, it may be given then..
Absolution is a traditional theological term for the forgiveness experienced by Christians in the life of the Church. It is a universal feature of the historic churches of Christendom, although the theology and the practice of absolution vary between denominations.
Urbi et Orbi denotes a papal address and apostolic blessing given by the pope on certain solemn occasions.
Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave Day of Easter. The feast day is observed by Roman Catholic as well as some Anglicans. It is originally based on the Catholic devotion to the Divine Mercy that Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, and is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Catholic Church
The prayer before a crucifix is a Roman Catholic prayer to Jesus which is said while kneeling before a crucifix. It is often said by Roman Catholics after Communion or after Mass.
Porziuncola, also called Portiuncula or Porzioncula, is a small Catholic church located within the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels in Assisi in the frazione of Santa Maria degli Angeli, situated about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) from Assisi, Umbria. It is the place from where the Franciscan movement started.
The Sacrament of Penance is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, in which the faithful are absolved from sins committed after Baptism and they are reconciled with the Christian community. While in current practice reconciliation services may be used to bring out the communal nature of sacraments, mortal sins must be confessed and venial sins may be confessed for devotional reasons. According to the current doctrine and practice of the Church, only those ordained as priests may grant absolution.
The Apostolic Blessing or papal blessing is a blessing imparted by the Pope, either directly or by delegation through others. Bishops are empowered to grant it three times a year and any priest can do so for the dying.
The treasury of merit or treasury of the Church consists, according to Catholic belief, of the merits of Jesus Christ and his faithful, a treasury that because of the communion of saints benefits others too. According to the Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms, this Catholic belief is a way of expressing the view that the good works done by Jesus and others can benefit other people, and "contemporary Roman Catholic theologians see it as a metaphor for ways in which the faith of Christ and the saints helps others".
Station days were days of fasting in the early Christian Church, associated with a procession to certain prescribed churches in Rome, where the Mass and Vespers would be celebrated to mark important days of the liturgical year. Although other cities also had similar practices, and the fasting is no longer prescribed, the Roman churches associated with the various station days are still the object of pilgrimage and ritual, especially in the season of Lent.
The Raccolta is a book, published from 1807 to 1950, that listed Roman Catholic prayers and other acts of piety, such as novenas, for which specific indulgences were granted by Popes. In 1968 it was replaced by the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, listing fewer specific prayers but including new general grants that apply to a wide range of prayerful actions. The text was in Italian, with the prayers themselves given in Latin.
Reparation is a theological concept closely connected with those of atonement and satisfaction. In ascetical theology, reparation is the making of amends for insults given to God through sin, either one's own or another's. The response of man is to be reparation through adoration, prayer, and sacrifice. In Roman Catholic tradition, an act of reparation is a prayer or devotion with the intent to expiate the "sins of others", e.g. for the repair of the sin of blasphemy, the sufferings of Jesus Christ or as Acts of Reparation to the Virgin Mary.
In the Catholic Church, a blessing is a rite consisting of a ceremony and prayers performed in the name and with the authority of the Church by a duly qualified minister by which persons or things are sanctified as dedicated to divine service or by which certain marks of divine favour are invoked upon them. In a wider sense blessing has a variety of meanings in the sacred writings:
Purgatory is, according to the belief of some Christians, an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification. There is disagreement among Christians whether such a state exists. Some forms of Western Christianity, particularly within Protestantism, deny its existence. Other strands of Western Christianity see purgatory as a place, perhaps filled with fire. Some concepts of Gehenna in Judaism are similar to that of purgatory. The word "purgatory" has come to refer also to a wide range of historical and modern conceptions of postmortem suffering short of everlasting damnation and is used, in a non-specific sense, to mean any place or condition of suffering or torment, especially one that is temporary.
A Privileged Altar is an altar in a Roman Catholic church where a plenary indulgence can be gained for a soul in purgatory whenever Mass is celebrated there.
The Heroic Act of Charity is when a member of the Roman Catholic church offers to God all the satisfactory value of prayers and good works performed during their lifetime plus all the suffrages which may accrue to him after his death for the remission of the souls in purgatory. The "satisfactory value" of a good work is its value with regard to making up for one's sins and reducing a person's stay in Purgatory. The term "Purgatory" does not indicate a Place, but a Condition of Existence.
The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception is a devotional office of the Catholic Church, similar in structure to the Divine Office, the Church's official liturgical prayer, though it does not include any Psalms. It was composed towards the end of the 15th Century and long predated the official promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Holy See confirmed the Office in 1615.