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Plenary indulgence for Catholics attending March for Life in Washington

Pro-life advocates hold signs during the annual March for Life (CNS)

Catholics who participate in the March for Life in Washington DC later this month will be able to receive a plenary indulgence, two local dioceses have announced.

CNA reports that people who wish to receive the indulgence should attend the main events hosted by March for Life. These are the youth rally, Mass at Capital One Area, the adult and family rally at St Matthew’s Cathedral and the Prayer Vigil for Life at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington said in a joint letter: “In virtue of the authority granted by our Holy Father, Pope Francis… a plenary indulgence can be obtained under the usual conditions…by the Christian faithful who are truly penitential and compelled by charity, if they take part in the sacred celebrations, along with the great assembly of people, throughout the whole course of the annual event that is called ‘March for Life’.”

The letter also said that “the aged, sick and all those who due to grave reason are not able to leave home” may receive the indulgence if they “spiritually join themselves to the holy ceremonies, while also having offered prayers and their sufferings or the ailments of their own life to the merciful God.”

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington and Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington also asked other bishops to share the information with “those intrusted to your personal care”.

In order to obtain a plenary indulgence, Catholics must make a sacramental confession, receive Holy Communion, have complete detachment from even venial sin, and pray for the Pope’s intentions.