VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Catholics who participate in events connected with the 2012-2013 Year of Faith can receive a special indulgence, the Vatican said.
Pope Benedict XVI authorized the granting of a plenary, or full, indulgence in order to highlight the Year of Faith and encourage the “reading, or rather, the pious meditation on” the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The decree was signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, head of the Vatican tribunal that deals with indulgences and with matters related to the sacrament of penance.
An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven.
Pope Benedict established the Year of Faith, “dedicated to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation,” to run from Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013. It begins on the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II.