Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

The Holy Year will begin in December 2024 and conclude in January 2026 (Vatican Media)

The Vatican issued a decree yesterday outlining the many ways that Catholics can obtain a plenary indulgence during the 2025 Jubilee Year. Source: CNA.

The decree, signed on May 13 by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the new head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, allows Catholics to gain indulgences by making pilgrimages, prayerful visits to specific churches, or works of mercy during the holy year.

A plenary indulgence is a grace granted by the Catholic Church through the merits of Jesus Christ to remove the temporal punishment due to sin.

The indulgence applies to sins already forgiven. A plenary indulgence cleanses the soul as if the person had just been baptised. Plenary indulgences obtained during the Jubilee Year can also be applied to souls in purgatory with the possibility of obtaining two plenary indulgences for the deceased in one day, according to the Apostolic Penitentiary.

To obtain an indulgence, the usual conditions of detachment from all sin, sacramental confession, holy Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Pope must be met.

Here are some of the many ways one can obtain indulgences during the 2025 Jubilee Year:

Catholics who make a pilgrimage to Rome during the 2025 Jubilee Year can obtain a plenary indulgence by visiting at least one of the four major papal basilicas: St Peter’s Basilica, the Archbasilica of St John Lateran, St Mary Major, or St Paul Outside the Walls.

The Apostolic Penitentiary also grants plenary indulgences specifically for making pilgrimage to churches in Rome connected to great female saints. 

The Apostolic Penitentiary lists visiting prisoners, spending time with lonely elderly people, aiding the sick or disabled, and helping those who are in need as instances to obtain an indulgence. 

Acts of penance can also obtain a plenary indulgence. The Vatican lists several options: abstaining for at least one day a week from “futile distractions” such as social media or television; fasting; offering support to migrants, the elderly, the poor, young people in difficulty, and abandoned children; and volunteering. 


How to obtain a plenary indulgence during the 2025 Jubilee (By Courtney Mares, CNA)


Vatican norms for Jubilee indulgence include pilgrimage, penance, service (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via NCR Online)