- Feb 27, 2021
Pope Francis has launched a special year dedicated to St. Joseph to coincide with the anniversary of his declaration as Patron of the Catholic Church, hailing him as a model of fatherhood and a key intercessor in modern times.
Plenary or full indulgences traditionally obtained during the first week of November for the souls of the faithful in purgatory can now be gained throughout the entire month of November, the Vatican said.
In one fell swoop Friday night, Francis not only delivered what seems destined to become the most iconic image of the pandemic, he effectively shut down what had been a mounting undercurrent of criticism about the supposed “invisibility” and “silence” of the Church.
Following a particularly deadly week for Italians inflicted with the COVID-19 coronavirus, Pope Francis on Sunday urged Christians everywhere from different confessions to unite in shared moments of prayer, including several he will be leading at the Vatican.
With increasing numbers of people confined at home with no access to Mass or confession, pastors everywhere, Pope Francis included, have turned to some little-known, or at least little-used, concepts and practices, including “spiritual communion,” indulgences and general absolution.