Catholics find grace in Copacabana confessions

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jul 28, 2013 / 04:52 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Young people from around the world stood in long lines on Rio’s Copacabana Beach to take part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during World Youth Day.

“It’s a beautiful experience to be reconciled to God during this World Youth Day,” a young pilgrim, who wished to remain unnamed, told CNA moments after confession July 27.

Many priests helped to provide confession for the three million pilgrims present at the World Youth Day vigil on the beach so that the young people could receive the Eucharist worthily.

The young pilgrim added that “it is even greater to be able to have the indulgence that the Pope has given us.”

Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence to youth who participate in the World Youth Day final Mass, receive sacramental confession and receive the Eucharist.

 In Catholic belief, a plenary indulgence removes the temporal punishment — the unhealthy attachment to created things — due to sins already forgiven by God. The Catholic Church grants indulgences to recognize or encourage specific spiritual practices and prayers.

Previously some media outlets reported that the Pope would forgive sins of those who followed World Youth Day on the social media site Twitter. The accuracy of these reports was questioned by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Communications.

The Vatican official explained that “you cannot get indulgences like one gets a coffee from a vending machine.”

Both those attending World Youth Day Rio 2013 in person and who follow it spiritually through media and social networks, can receive an indulgence only if they make a good sacramental confession, receive the Eucharist, and pray for the Pope’s intentions.

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