Gaining Plenary Indulgences

Catholic Candle note:  Sedevacantism is wrong and is schism.  Catholic Candle is not sedevacantist.  On the contrary, we published a series of articles showing that sedevacantism is false (and also showing that former Pope Benedict is not still the pope).  Read the articles here: 

A reader would be mistaken to believe that the article below gives any support to sedevacantism.  The article simply shows that we must be careful to not cooperate with (or pray for the success of) the evil intentions of a pope or any other superior.


Gaining Plenary Indulgences

In our Times of Great Apostasy

We need all of the help we can get to save our souls.  One help available to Catholics is obtaining plenary indulgences (i.e., complete remission of all temporal punishment due for sins).  But to obtain plenary indulgences, we usually must pray for the intentions of the pope.  How can we do that, without compromise, when the pope has many bad intentions?

The pope’s official intentions are often evil

The Vatican publishes the monthly prayer intentions of Pope Francis and many of them are evil and they often promote political correctness.  For example, Pope Francis uses his monthly prayer intentions to promote his Politically-Correct climate-alarmism, which is a basis for his promotion of a one-world government to regulate the ecology of the world and of the oceans in particular.[1]

To ensure that his climate-alarmism stays in the news, Pope Francis published this politically-correct, ecological prayer intention for September 2019:


The Protection of the Oceans

That politicians, scientists, and economists work together to protect the world’s seas and oceans.[2]

Pope Francis uses his prayer intentions to promote many other evils of the conciliar church.  For example, Pope Francis published this ecumenical prayer intention promoting inter-religious dialogue, as his November 2019 prayer intention:

Dialogue and Reconciliation in the Near East

That a spirit of dialogue, encounter, and reconciliation emerge in the Near East, where diverse religious communities share their lives together.[3]


However, despite Pope Francis’s own bad intentions, there are some good intentions which are always included in the intentions of the pope.  Here is how The Raccolta[4] explains this:


The Pope’s intention always includes the following objects:

                     i.        The progress of the Faith and triumph of the Church.

                    ii.        Peace and union among Christian Princes and Rulers.

                  iii.        The conversion of sinners.

                  iv.        The uprooting of heresy.[5]

God wants us to pray for these Traditional Catholic intentions of the pope, but of course, not pray for any evil intentions.

We suggest that you make your intent explicit – for yourself and for others – by stating that you are praying for the Traditional intentions of the pope, thereby reminding yourself and others that you reject his evil and radical intentions.[6]

Further, Traditional Catholics are not sedevacantists.  Thus, we suggest you remind yourself and others of this fact by praying “for the Traditional intentions of Pope Francis” by name, rather than merely for the “intentions of the pope”.

Finally, we suggest you refer to the purpose of those prayers for the pope: “for the purpose of fulfilling a requirement for obtaining a plenary indulgence”.


Conclusion of this section

To gain plenary indulgences during these times of Great Apostasy, we suggest you pray an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be:

for the Traditional intentions of Pope Francis, for the purpose of gaining a plenary indulgence.


How can we gain a plenary indulgence without access to uncompromising priests and sacraments?

As we see above, it is a good thing to pray for the pope’s Traditional intentions in order to obtain a plenary indulgence.  But how can we gain a plenary indulgence without access to uncompromising priests and sacraments?

Should uncompromising Traditional Catholics “bother” praying for the Traditional intentions of the pope to obtain a plenary indulgence, when, in our times of Great Apostasy, there is little or no opportunity to fulfill the other usual conditions for gaining a plenary indulgence, viz., going to confession and receiving Holy Communion?

The answer is “yes”!

God has not abandoned His children!  Although He has – for now – willed to take away most of the Sacraments from most uncompromising Traditional Catholics, in God’s ineffable Providence, this is for our good.  We know infallibly that “all things work together unto the good, for those who love God.”[7]

So, when God takes away most sacraments, He gives us other means and gives those means greater efficacy.  So, e.g., God greatly increased the power of the Holy Rosary during our times.[8]

God understands that we cannot do the impossible, nor does He expect us to do it.  He does not expect, or want us to receive the Sacraments or go to Mass when it is not available without compromise.  Compromise Masses and Sacraments don’t help us and they offend Him![9]

Thus, because we know that the current unavailability of the Sacraments works for our good, if we love God, our inability to fulfill those conditions for a plenary indulgence also works for our good and does not harm us.  God will provide! 

One way that God is able to provide for us is to give us a plenary indulgence when we piously and diligently fulfill the conditions for a plenary indulgence as closely as we can.[10]  God can treat this as if it were literal compliance with the usual conditions for obtaining a plenary indulgence.  Thus,

  When confession is not available without compromise, then God expects us to make an Act of Contrition as perfectly as we can. 

  When we cannot receive Holy Communion without compromise, He expects us to make as fervent a Spiritual Communion as we can. 

Along with fulfilling these conditions as closely as we can, we also pray “for the Traditional intentions of Pope Francis”.

Conclusion to the entire article

Let us have a strong heart and complete confidence in God.  Let us always have complete confidence that God is providing perfectly for us. 

Let us continue to fulfill the conditions for obtaining plenary indulgences to the extent that we are able, knowing that God provides for us.

[1]           Here are Pope Francis’s words, citing and quoting (former) Pope Benedict XVI and (supposed) “saint” Pope John XXIII:


¶174. Let us also mention the system of governance of the oceans.  International and regional conventions do exist, but fragmentation and the lack of strict mechanisms of regulation, control, and penalization end up undermining these efforts.  The growing problem of marine waste and the protection of the open seas represent particular challenges.  What is needed, in effect, is an agreement on systems of governance for the whole range of so-called “global commons”.


¶175. The same mindset which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty.  A more responsible overall approach is needed to deal with both problems: the reduction of pollution and the development of poorer countries and regions.  The twenty-first century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tend to prevail over the political. Given this situation, it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions.  As Benedict XVI has affirmed in continuity with the social teaching of the Church: “To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security, and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago”.


Laudato Si, ¶¶ 174-5 (emphasis added).


[4]           A raccolta is a book which collects prayers and other acts of piety, for which specific indulgences were granted by the pre-conciliar popes.

[5]           The Raccolta, translated by Ambrose St. John, Benzinger Bros., New York, 1910 edition, quoted from the preface, page xiii (emphasis added).


[6]           Pope Francis’s conciliar intentions reflect and promote conciliar novelties.  These new doctrines are so foreign to Catholicism that St. Thomas Aquinas defines heretics as follows: A heretic is someone who devises or follows false or new opinions. Summa Theologica, IIa IIae, Q.11, a.1 Sed contra (emphasis added). Notice St. Thomas does not say “false and new opinions”. The newness of a doctrine is already sufficient reason to reject it.

[7]           Romans, 8:28. 


[8]           Sister Lucy, seer at Fatima, revealed to Fr. Fuentes:


God is giving two last remedies to the world: the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  …  Prayer and sacrifice are the two means to save the world.  As for the Holy Rosary, Father, in these last times in which we are living, the Blessed Virgin has given a new efficacy to the praying of the Holy Rosary.  This in such a way that there is no problem that cannot be resolved by praying the Rosary, no matter how difficult it is – be it temporal or above all spiritual ….


Words of Sister Lucy seer at Fatima, from her December 26, 1957 interview by Fr. Augustin Fuentes, vice-postulator of the cause of beatification for Francisco and Jacinta.  (Emphasis added.)  This interview can be found at:


[9]           Read these articles showing that compromise masses and sacraments offend God and do not give grace:








[10]         Just as God bountifully gives graces to us without expecting the impossible, likewise the Catholic Church bountifully grants indulgences without expecting the impossible.  For this reason, Pope Pius IX granted:


to all the faithful who are habitually prevented by chronic illness or permanent physical inability of any kind, from leaving their dwellings – excepting those who live in religious communities – the privilege of gaining each and all of the plenary indulgences already granted, or which may be hereafter granted by the Sovereign Pontiffs; provided that, being truly penitent and having confessed their sins and fulfilled the other conditions prescribed, they perform faithfully, in place of receiving Holy Communion, some pious work enjoined by their confessors.


Quoted from The New Raccolta, published in 1898 by order of His Holiness, Pope Leo XIII, Peter F. Cunningham & Son, Philadelphia, English edition ©1900, quoted from the section On Holy Indulgences, pp.21-22.