Pro-life advocates are seen ready to begin the 46th annual March for Life in Washington D.C., Jan. 18, 2019. Jeff Bruno photo.
Pro-life advocates are seen ready to begin the 46th annual March for Life in Washington D.C., Jan. 18, 2019. Jeff Bruno photo.
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., announced to clergy and faithful of the Diocese that persons who participate in the Jan. 23-24 March for Life events in Washington will be able to obtain a plenary indulgence according to a Decree dated Jan. 9 by the Apostolic Penitentiary in Rome.

Bishop O’Connell made the announcement on the “plenary indulgence under the usual conditions” Jan. 23 after receiving notification from the Archdiocese of Washington and its shepherd Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory. The plenary indulgence is also extended under the usual conditions to the aged, sick and homebound.

The decree states: “For the promotion of the sanctity of the faithful and salvation of souls, by the power of the faculties assigned to it by the Supreme Pontiff, Francis, the Pope by Divine Providence, with attentive requests having recently been made by His Excellency Wilton Daniel Gregory, Metropolitan Archbishop of Washington, the Apostolic Penitentiary kindly grants, from the heavenly treasures of the Church, a plenary indulgence, to be obtained under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) by the Christian faithful truly penitential and compelled by charity, which indeed they can apply to the souls of the faithful held in Purgatory, by way of suffrage, 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 the “March for Life,” which will be carried out on the 23rd and 24th days of January 2020, throughout the Archdiocese of Washington (particularly in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and in the place called Capitol One Arena.

“The aged, sick and all those who due to grave reason are not able to leave home will be equally able to obtain the plenary indulgence, having the disposition of detachment from any kind of sin, with the intention of fulfilling, as soon as one is able, the three customary conditions, if they spiritually join themselves to the sacred ceremonies, while also having offered prayers and their sufferings or the ailments of their own life to the merciful God.

“Therefore, and in order that easier access unto the attaining of this divine favor through the keys of the Church might go forth, for the sake of pastoral charity, this Penitentiary earnestly asks that Pastors and priests, those provided with suitable faculties to hear confessions, with a  willing and generous spirit, might make themselves available for the celebration of Penance. The present Decree will be valid for this event only. Anything whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding. Given in Rome, from the office of the Apostolic, on the 9th day of January, in the year of our Lord 2020.”