|Vatican||HOLY SEE ISSUES NEW GUIDELINES ON INDULGENCES|
The Vatican has published a new set of Guidelines on Indulgences in which it describes as 'intimately connected to the sacrament of Reconciliation' and an 'integral part of the Jubilee event'.
Presenting the new edition of the "Enchiridion Indulgentiarum," or guidelines on indulgences, at a Vatican press conference on Friday, Cardinal William Wakefield Baum said: "When correctly understood and fully received, indulgences are a vital element of that continuous conversion, the constant process of sanctification that characterises supernatural life on earth," Cardinal William Wakefield Baum said this morning, during the in Vatican City.
Addressing the much debated topic of indulgences, Cardinal Baum added that "an indulgence is intimately connected to the sacrament of Reconciliation, and offers an effective contribution to the global growth of the people of God, not only because it gives interior help to the salvation of each Christian, but also because it is united to ecclesial communion, the practice of public prayer, lived charity and voluntary asceticism."
This is the fourth edition of the document published by the Vatican. The third Latin edition was published in 1986. During the press conference, Bishop Dario Rezza, a Vatican canonist, explained that "the Jubilee of 2000 is a wonderful reason to rediscover this treasure, which many of today's Catholics ignore. The indulgence is an integral part of the Jubilee event."
Bishop Rezza admitted that a curtain of silence was drawn on this issue for two reasons: its rejection by the Reformed Churches, following the challenge to the indulgences themselves and their application during the Reformation; as well as some recent historical research on the Middle Ages, which has considered them to be 'abuses of devotion,' which arose together with the so-called 'Medieval invention' of Purgatory."
Zenit & Reuters 11:42am 20/9/99