Great Jubilee News

John Paul II Calls for Correct Teaching on Meaning of Indulgences 

VATICAN CITY, APR 3 ( In this Jubilee year of "the great return and the great pardon," the sacrament of Confession has a primary role in the effusion of God's mercy, John Paul II emphasized this point in a message sent to Cardinal William W. Baum, the Church's Major Penitentiary, on the occasion of the annual course he organizes on the sacrament. 
The students of this course just completed a week of intensive study on the "internal forum," that is, those consultations that the faithful submit to the judgment and authority of the Church on matters of conscience, which are the specific competence of the Apostolic Penitentiary. The course, which is held behind closed doors and open only to seminarians in their last year, transitional deacons, and priests, is of irreplaceable help to these young men beginning their ministries. 
John Paul II thanks the priests of the world for the indispensable service they offer through their availability to administer the sacrament of Reconciliation, "one of the most significant expressions of their priesthood." At the same time, he reminds them that "the proclamation of truth, especially when it is of a moral-spiritual order,
is much more credible when the one who proclaims it is not only a doctor from the academic point of view, but above all an existential witness," offered evangelically
through "humility of virtues practiced and not displayed." 
After recalling that the sacrament of Reconciliation confers not only God's pardon for sins committed, but also special graces to overcome temptations and avoid new falls, John Paul II expresses his hope that the faithful's return to the sacramental practice of confession will be one of the main fruits of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. 
Finally, the Pope exhorted confessors to educate the faithful with an appropriate and profound catechesis on the great help they can receive from indulgences. He recalled that "far from being some sort of discount on the commitment to conversion, they are a help for a greater disposition to a generous and radical commitment to conversion itself."