Vatican City, Jul 7, 2008 / 08:33 am America/Denver (CNA).
Pilgrims at World Youth Day and those from around the world who pray for the ‘spiritual goals of this meeting and for its happy outcome," will be able to receive indulgences, the Vatican announced on Saturday.
According to a decree signed by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Pope Benedict XVI will grant two types of indulgences for the international gathering of youth.
Those who "gather at Sydney, Australia, in the spirit of pilgrimage" to participate in celebrations for 23rd World Youth Day, will be able to receive a full or plenary indulgence, the decree says. Partial indulgences will be available to "all those who, wherever they are, will pray for the spiritual goals of this meeting and for its happy outcome."
Catholics believe that due to Jesus’ granting of the powers to “loose and bind” to St. Peter in Mt. 16, the Pope, who is Peter’s successor, can grant indulgences to the faithful. An indulgence erases the temporal punishment that results from sin.
The decree on the indulgences for the coming World Youth Day explains the more recent history of the granting of indulgences. "The youth meeting held in the year 2005 in Cologne, offered the Apostolic Penitentiary an opportune occasion, with the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, to open wide to youth the spiritual treasures of the Church, with the aim of gathering singular fruits of sanctification.”