As Italy’s death toll rises and Catholics worldwide find their access to churches and the sacraments limited, the Vatican has taken two initiatives to grant the faithful forgiveness of their sins. One measure from the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Vatican’s “tribunal of mercy,” grants an indulgence specially for those who are suffering from the coronavirus and anyone who cares for them, even simply through prayer. A second decree also allows for priests to absolve sins without hearing one-on-one confessions in certain grave cases.
On this episode of “Inside the Vatican,” Rome correspondent Gerard O’Connell and producer Colleen Dulle unpack these measures along with two worldwide prayer initiatives Pope Francis announced this week. The hosts examine how the pope is using every spiritual and communications tool available to give people around the world a sense of consolation.
Colleen also announces that “Inside the Vatican” will provide twice-weekly updates for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
Links from the show:
Pope Francis authorizes plenary indulgences and general absolution as coronavirus crisis escalates Pope Francis calls on Christians worldwide to combat coronavirus pandemic with midday prayer on March 25 The North American College in Rome sends seminarians back to the United States