EWTN Catholic Q&A
plenary indulgence
Question from Leah on 11-03-2012:

Dear Fr. Echert:

To obtain a plenary indulgence for yourself or a deceased person, one of the requirements is have "complete detachment from sin, even venial sin." What exactly does this mean? I get a different answer from good Priests and religious. Does this mean that I am to be completely Perfect to obtain a plenary indulgence? This seems impossible for most of us, since we are all sinners. Does it mean you are to have no attachment to sin or hate your sin? Please explain.

Thank you & God Bless.


Answer by Fr. John Echert on 11-06-2012:

Yes, it means that one must have no attachment to sin, even venial, and it would follow logically that one would also hate sin, as sin is opposed to good and God. If detachment is not complete, a partial indulgence may be granted, in accord with the divine will. Personallym, the condition of complete detachment is problematic on the practical level, as it can occasion scrupulousity in those who are seeking to fulfill the conditions. But I do not set the standards

Thanks, Leah

Father Echert