Catholics can gain indulgence by praying for families

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Catholics who dedicate themselves to special prayers and efforts to promote the holiness of Christian families can receive special indulgences during the World Meeting of Families May 30-June 2 in Milan.

Pope Benedict XVI authorized the indulgences for those who, “truly repentant and motivated by charity, dedicate themselves to the sanctification of the family,” said a decree published May 25 by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, which deals with indulgences.

An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven.

Participants in World Meeting of Families can earn a plenary indulgence after going to confession, receiving the Eucharist and offering prayers for the intentions of the pope. People who cannot attend the Milan meeting still can earn the indulgence by “spiritually uniting themselves” with the pope and event participants, reciting the Lord’s Prayer and the creed and offering special prayers for the family, the decree said.

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