Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary since 2013, delivered an 11-page lecture to participants in the Penitentiary’s 33rd annual course on the internal forum.
Devoting his lecture to the gift of indulgences, the 78-year-old prelate said that indulgences manifest God’s mercy and contribute to the sanctification of the faithful. He highlighted in the value of partial indulgences, which help the faithful to turn their hearts to the Beloved several times per day, and encouraged participants to preach about indulgences as a means to open the hearts of a secularized generation to “the greatness of the mystery of redemption and, with it, of that of sanctification.”
Cardinal Piacenza, who once served as Secretary (2007-10) and Prefect (2010-13) of the Congregation for the Clergy, also warned that “it is not mercy to lie about sin.”
“Only a misunderstood mercy, devoid of Christian realism, can abdicate the very serious task of judge and physician that Christ entrusts to the Apostles and their successors,” and which “Christ entrusts to every confessor,” he said.
The prelate said that the Lord longs “to destroy every sin with the fire of His Mercy.” Thus, “the individual priest has the serious duty to admonish the sinner about the gravity of his condition and, if he were not do it, he himself would answer before God.”