ROME — Catholics who participate in the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August or pray with their families during the Aug. 21-26 event can receive a plenary indulgence, the Vatican announced.
An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven.
The theme of the Dublin meeting, which Pope Francis plans to attend, is “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.”
“So that the faithful prepare spiritually to participate in the event in the best way, His Holiness Pope Francis willingly concedes the gift of indulgences,” said the decree released May 22 by the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life.
To receive the indulgence, it said, people must be “truly repentant and motivated by charity” and dedicate themselves “to the sanctification of the family, following the example of the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.”
The conditions necessary for receiving a plenary indulgence include having recently gone to confession, receiving the Eucharist and offering prayers for the intentions of the pope.
Those who cannot travel to Dublin for the event in August still can receive the indulgence, the decree said, “if, spiritually united with the faithful present in Dublin, they recite as a family the Our Father, the creed and other devout prayers” for the good of families.
The decree, signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Vatican office that deals with indulgences, said a partial indulgence is also available to all Catholics who, no matter where they are, offer prayers with the pope for families.
Publishing the decree, the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life said, “Currently, there are about 22,000 people registered for the meeting: they come from 103 countries and half of them are from outside Ireland. With 28 percent of the participants under 18, this WMOF (World Meeting of Families) is the one with the highest rate of young people.”