Decree of the Sacred Penitentiary for the Month of November

November 01, 2020

On October 22, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, a large penitentiary, issued a decree to adapt the grant of indulgences intended for the faithful deceased, to the health situation and to the restrictions put in place in various countries to limit gatherings.

This decree affects first of all the plenary indulgence granted, from November 1 to 8, for a visit to a cemetery accompanied by a prayer for the deceased. This indulgence can be transferred to other days of the same month, freely chosen by the faithful, without the need for them to follow one another. It being understood that these days, even transferred, remain limited to eight.

For the plenary indulgence granted by the Church on the day of the Commemoration of all the faithful deceased, November 2, which is obtained by visiting a church or an oratory by reciting the Our Father and the I believe in God, its obtaining can be transferred any day in November.

As for people who cannot accomplish the indulgenced work, elderly, sick, or affected by travel restrictions, they can obtain indulgence by praying before an image of Our Lord Jesus Christ or of the Blessed Virgin, using a prayer of their choice, or by offering their sufferings and their crosses to God.

It is recalled that these indulgences are obtained under the usual conditions: sacramental confession and holy communion within eight days, and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

In this regard, it is good to remember what this expression "intentions of the Sovereign Pontiff" means. It does not target the subjective intentions of the reigning Pontiff, but 6 general intentions fixed by law: 1. the exaltation of the holy Catholic Church; 2. the propagation of the Faith; 3. the eradication of heresy; 4. the conversion of sinners; 5. peace and concord among Christian princes; 6. other needs of Christendom.

Note that, with regard to the general conditions, if confession and communion are impossible within eight days, indulgence is still obtained, provided that the faithful are willing to confess and take Communion as soon as they can.