Pope Grants Special Indulgences
As Vicar of Christ and the Holy Father, Pope Francis, on March 20, 2020, promulgated through the Apostolic Penitentiary a decree which provides for the faithful to gain a plenary indulgence as the world faces the coronavirus pandemic.The bishop shares with you the following document of the Diocesan Director of Liturgy for your awareness and implementation.
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Recap of suspensions and dispensations in effect:
Suspension of Sunday and Weekday Mass
- Allpublic Masses are suspended in the churches and chapels of the Diocese of St. Augustine until further notice (i.e., no weekday or Sunday public Masses, no communion services, or Masses in homes).
- Priests will still offer the Sacrifice of the Mass daily (but without participation by the faithful) for the needs of the Church and the world, especially as we face the present realities of the pandemic.
Dispensation from Sunday Mass
By his authority as the diocesan bishop to dispense from universal ecclesiastical laws, Bishop Estévez has indefinitely dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass three categories of people for as long as the specific condition below continues:
- All who are sick and those who are caring for them
- Those who because of age or infirmity are at higher risk for contracting the coronavirus
- Those who have been exposed to the coronavirus because of travel or other circumstances
And to further protect public health and calm fears, Bishop Estévez has also dispensed all the Catholic faithful from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until the suspension of Mass is rescinded.
Dispensation from Lenten obligation to abstain from meat on Fridays
- By his authority as the diocesan bishop to dispense from universal ecclesiastical laws, Bishop Estévez has dispensed all Catholics from the prohibition during Lent this year to abstain from meat on Fridays.
When families and individuals take advantage of this dispensation, they are asked to consider other acts of penance or charity that they might carry out in its place.