Summary of Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on special Indulgences in the current (2020) pandemic
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom 12:12).
The value of human suffering is twofold:
“It is supernatural because it is rooted in the divine mystery of the Redemption of the world, and it is likewise deeply human, because in it the person discovers himself, his own humanity, his own dignity, his own mission” (Pope St. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris, 31).
What: Special Plenary Indulgence by the Successor of St. Peter (cf. Mt. 16:19, 18:18 and Jn. 20:21-22) [a plenary indulgence grants the full remission of the temporal punishment due to forgiven mortal sin]
Who: The Faithful suffering from Coronavirus, as well as to health care workers, family members and all those who in any capacity, including through prayer, care for them.
Why: So that all those who suffer because of COVID-19, precisely in the mystery of this suffering, may rediscover “the same redemptive suffering of Christ” (ibid., 30). . . . trusting in the word of Christ the Lord and considering with a spirit of faith the epidemic currently underway, to be lived in a spirit of personal conversion. . . .
How: The Faithful who are subject to quarantine by order of the health authority in hospitals or in their own homes if,
• with a spirit detached from any sin
• they unite spiritually through the media to the celebration of Holy Mass, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, to the pious practice of the Way of the Cross or other forms of devotion, or,
• they at least will recite the Creed, the Lord's Prayer and a pious invocation to the Blessed Virgin Mary
• offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters,
• with the will to fulfill the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father's intentions), as soon as possible
Also to those faithful who
• offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or Eucharistic adoration, or reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, or,
• the recitation of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy,
• to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself.
• being health care workers, family members and all those who, following the example of the Good Samaritan, exposing themselves to the risk of contagion, care for the sick of Coronavirus according to the words of the divine Redeemer: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13) a Plenary Indulgence under the same conditions
Those unable to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum
entrusting each and every one to divine Mercy by virtue of the communion of saints
• a Plenary Indulgence on the point of death, provided that they are duly disposed and have recited a few prayers during their lifetime (in this case the Church makes up for the three usual conditions of confession, communion and prayer for the intentions of the Pope
• for the attainment of this indulgence the use of the crucifix or the cross is recommended