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Granted to the Faithful in the four Districts of England.
N INDULGENCE is not a leave to commit a sin, nor a pardon of future sins, nor indeed, properly speaking, any pardon of sin at all; but it is only a remission of the whole or a part of the temporal punishment that often remains to be suffered for sins, which, as to their guilt and eternal punishment, have been already remitted.
For the validity and effect of an Indulgence, it is not only necessary that there be a competent authority in him who grants it, and a just ground or motive for the grant; but it is also necessary, on the part of him who obtains it, that he renounce and be sincerely sorry for all his sins, that he be in the state of grace, and that he duly perform all the conditions prescribed.
Hence Indulgences, so far from withdrawing sinners from performing good works, serve to excite and encourage them to greater fervour in the practice of them. They must apply for the benefit of Indulgences with a penitential spirit, with a sense of the great debt of punishment they have contracted by their sins, and with earnest petitions to be discharged from it, through the merits and satisfactions of Christ, by the power of the keys which he has committed to his Church. If this debt be not paid by penitential sufferings, or graciously remitted by Indulgences in this life, it will, after death, retard the entrance of a soul into the kingdom of heaven, until the last farthing be paid in the prison of purgatory.
Of Indulgences, some are called Plenary, which, when fully obtained, remit the whole debt of temporal punishment that remained due on account of past sins: others are of a certain number of years or days, which, when fully ob
tained, remit so much of the debt of temporal punishment, as would have been discharged by the performance of so many years or days of Canonical Penance.
The Holy See Apostolic, considering the spiritual necessities of the Catholics in this kingdom, has been graciously pleased to authorize the Rt. Rev. Vicars Apostolic to grant to the Faithful committed to their charge in their respective districts, the following Plenary Indulgences, on certain specified conditions, leaving to their choice the seasons or solemnities which they shall think proper to appoint for this purpose. With respect to the publication of Indulgences granted to religious orders, Pope Benedict XIV. has established the following rule, (Num. 23. Reg. obs. in Ang. Miss.," For the good of the English Mission, all acts of piety are approved, Prayers, Fasts, and meritorious works, which are approved of by the Holy Roman Church. But as to the INDULGENCES annexed to these works, by virtue of the privileges which have been granted by Popes to any religious order, they are SUSPENDED.'
The undersigned Vicars Apostolic, in virtue of the authority imparted to them by the Holy See, grant to the Faithful throughout the kingdom of England the following Plenary Indulgences, at the seasons, and on the conditions appointed and specified below, which are to be observed uniformly in all the four districts.
The Seasons for Plenary Indulgences are
I. CHRISTMAS-DAY, and the twelv days following, to the day of the Epiphany, in clusively.
II. The FIRST WEEK of LENT, begin ning with the first Sunday, and ending with the second Sunday, inclusively.
III. EASTER, i. e. from PALM-SUN DAY, inclusively, to LOW-SUNDAY, inclu sively.