An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due to sins which have already been forgiven. It may be applied to oneself or to a soul in Purgatory.
Schlert’s decree clarified that those who are sick, elderly, or unable to leave their homes may still obtain the indulgence if they spiritually unite themselves to the event taking place and offer their prayers and sufferings to God.
A 2019 Pew Research study found that just 31% of U.S. Catholics believe that the bread and wine used in the Eucharist, through a process called transubstantiation, become the Body and Blood of Jesus— a fundamental teaching central to the Catholic faith, known as the Real Presence.
The survey’s release prompted calls for better catechesis and formation for Catholics in the country.
Bishop Schlert said it is his obligation as a bishop to foster greater devotion to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, and provide spiritual sustenance to help the faithful maintain their Christian vocations so “that they may know more fully, and live out the Paschal Mystery of Christ, by leading lives of holiness, promoting the growth of the Church, and contributing to the sanctification of the world.”
He challenged all Catholics in the diocese to reflect on the Last Supper, when Christ instituted the Eucharist. He said the bread and wine, which become the Body and Blood of Christ, are a promise of God’s love for his people.