Wednesday, September 02, 2015

#1) Absolution for Abortion; #2) SSPX valid confession; #3) got overlooked...

Recently the Holy Father announced that during the year of mercy all priests would be granted the faculty of absolving the sin of abortion, and priests of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) would be granted the faculty to hear confession, rendering confession to these priests valid. (Link)

These two items have grabbed the spotlight, and there is some interesting commentary out there on the subject; I found Ed Peter’s (In the Light of the Law) article most informative on the abortion faculty, and I certainly learned from that. The second concession seems sad in that most bishops haven’t already done this, and I applaud the Holy Father for doing the obvious.

But the Holy Father did something else which seems to have fallen through the media cracks, but which is actually rather huge and represents an opening of rather grand proportions. He spoke of the Jubilee indulgence; remember those? The remission of the punishment due for sins already forgiven? Yes, move over Martin Luther’s children, we still have Indulgences.

Well, speaking of how those who are sick, infirm, or otherwise homebound could participate in the spiritual benefits of the Year of Mercy, he said by ...

...attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence.

The Church has answered in the negative to the question of the sacrament of reconciliation over the telephone or other electronic means. This is different, it appears that now it will be possible to use electronic media to obtain an indulgence, in this case, the Jubilee Indulgence.

So in both the cases which have received the media attention, something irregular is regularized for the good of those involved. For this I give thanks. But in the case of using electronic media to obtain an indulgence, something truly new and broadening has been proposed, and that wide opening of the treasury of the Graces of the Church is a mark of generous mercy that puts me on my knees in gratitude.

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