N.1. An indulgence is the remission before God of the temporal punishment due sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned, which the follower of Christ with the proper dispositions and under certain determined conditions acquires through the intervention of the Church which, as minister of the Redemption, authoritatively dispenses and applies the treasury of the satisfaction won by Christ and the saints.
N.2. And indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due sin.
N.3. Partial as well as plenary indulgences can always be applied to the dead by way of suffrage.
N.4. A partial indulgence will henceforth be designated only with the words "partial indulgence" without any determination of days or years.
N.5. The faithful who at least with a contrite heart perform an action to which a partial indulgence is attached obtain, in addition to the remission of temporal punishment acquired by the action itself, an equal remission of punishment through the intervention of the Church.
N.6. A plenary indulgence can be acquired only once a day, except for the provisions contained in No. 18 for those who are on the point of death. A partial indulgence can be acquired more than once a day, unless there is an explicit indication to the contrary.
N.7. To acquire a plenary indulgence it is necessary to perform the work to which the indulgence is attached and to fulfill three conditions: sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. It is further required that all attachment to sin, even to venial sin, be absent. If this disposition is in any way less than complete, or if the prescribed three conditions are not fulfilled, the indulgence will be only partial, except for the provisions contained in No. 11 for those who are "impeded."
N.8. The three conditions may be fulfilled several days before or after the performance of the prescribed work; nevertheless it is fitting that Communion be received and the prayers for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff be said the same day the work is performed.
N.9. A single sacramental confession suffices for gaining several plenary indulgences, but Communion must be received and prayers for the Supreme Pontiff's intentions recited for the gaining of each plenary indulgence.
N.10. The condition of praying for the Supreme Pontiff's intentions is fully satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary; nevertheless the individual faithful are free to recite any other prayer according to their own piety and devotion toward the Supreme Pontiff.
N.11. While there is no change in the faculty granted by canon 935 of the Code of Canon Law to confessors to commute for those who are "impeded" either the prescribed work itself or the required conditions [for the acquisition of indulgences], local Ordinaries can grant to the faithful over whom they exercise authority in accordance with the law, and who live in places where it is impossible or at least very difficult for them to receive the sacraments of confession and Communion, permission to acquire a plenary indulgence without confession and Communion provided they are sorry for their sins and have the intention of receiving these sacraments as soon as possible.
N.12. The division of indulgences into "personal," "real' and "local" is abolished so as to make it clearer that indulgences are attached to the actions of the faithful even though at times they may be linked with some object or place.
N.13. The "Enchridion of Indulgences" is to be revised with a view to attaching indulgences only to the most important prayers and works of piety, charity and penance.
N.14. The list and summaries of indulgences special to religious orders, congregations, societies of those living in community without vows, secular institutes and the pious associations of faithful are to be revised as soon as possible in such a way that plenary indulgences may be acquired only on particular days established by the Holy See acting on the recommendation of the Superior General, or in the case of pious associations, of the local Ordinary.
N.15. A plenary indulgence applicable only to the dead can be acquired in all churches and public oratories -- and in semipublic oratories by those who have the right to use them --on November 2. In addition, a plenary indulgence can be acquired twice a year in parish churches; on the feast of the church's titular saint and on August 2, when the "Portiuncula" occurs, or on some other more opportune day determined by the Ordinary. All the indulgences mentioned above can be acquired either on the days established or--with the consent of the Ordinary--on the preceding or the following Sunday. Other indulgences attached to churches and oratories are to be revised as soon as possible.
N.16. The work prescribed for acquiring a plenary indulgence connected with a church or oratory consists in a devout visit and the recitation of one Our Father and the Creed.
N.17. The faithful who use with devotion an "object of piety" (crucifix, cross, rosary, scapular or medal) properly blessed by any priest, can acquire a partial indulgence. But if this "object of piety" is blessed by the Supreme Pontiff or any bishop, the faithful who use it devoutly can also acquire a plenary indulgence on the feast of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, provided they also make a profession of faith using any legitimate formula.
N.18. To the faithful in danger of death who cannot be assisted by a priest to bring them the sacraments and impart the apostolic blessing with its attendant plenary indulgence (according to canon 468, sec.2 of the Code of Canon Law) Holy Mother Church nevertheless grants a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death (in articulo mortis), provided they are properly disposed and have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime. To use a crucifix or cross in connection with the acquisition of this plenary indulgence is a laudable practice. This plenary indulgence at the point of death can be acquired by the faithful even if they have already obtained another plenary indulgence on the same day.
N.19. The norms established regarding plenary indulgences, particularly those referred to in N.6, apply also to what up to now have been known as the "toties quoties" ["as often as"] plenary indulgences.
N.20. Holy Mother Church, extremely solicitous for the faithful departed, has decided that suffrages be applied to them to the widest possible extent at any Sacrifice of the Mass whatsoever, abolishing all special privileges in this regard.
These new norms regulating the acquisition of indulgences will become valid three months from the date of publication of this constitution in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Indulgences attached to the use of "objects of piety" which are not mentioned above cease three months after the date of publication of this constitution in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
The revisions mentioned in N.14 and N.15 must be submitted to the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary within a year. Two years after the date of this constitution, indulgences which have not been confirmed will become null and void.
We will that these statutes and prescriptions of ours be established now and remain in force for the future notwithstanding, if it is necessary so to state, the Apostolic Constitutions and Directives published by our Predecessors or any other prescriptions even if they might be worthy of special mention or should required particular repeal.
Given at Rome at St. Peter's on January 1, the octave of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1967, the fourth year of Our Pontificate.
POPE PAUL VI
from the Enchiridion:
Stations of the Cross
Becoming a Catholic
A Guide for Confession
Explanation of the Mass
Mysteries of the Rosary
Holy Days of Obligation
What are Indulgences?
Introduction to Indulgences
Church Teachings on Indulgences
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
The Last Things
A List of Roman Catholic Popes
The Ecumenical Councils
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