Did His Holiness Pope Francis offer General Absolution during his initial appearance before the world? And if so what is the scope of such absolution?

While listening to the first message of the Holy Father to the Church and to the World, I was was under the impression that the translator quoted him as saying something which sounded very much like the words of absolution.

Did His Holiness in fact extend general absolution during his first message to those listening to him?

And if general absolution was tendered–would this have been applicable ONLY TO THOSE PHYSICALLY PRESENT at Vatican City that day?

Or would I, as someone listening to His Holiness live via radio have also been a beneficiary of such a formula of general absolution?

(Obviously–for those who are unfamiliar–one who receives general absolution is free to receive the Eucharist, on condition of sincere contrition and the firm purpose to go to a proper confession at their earliest convenience. It was frequently abused in the 1970’s and is now rarely done at all. Someone more-knowledgeable can elaborate more fully).

Thanks for any responses clarifying what I thought I heard. Yeah, as soon as I heard His Holiness’ words, I recited an Act of Contrition, an Our Father, and a Hail Mary, as a sort of provisional way for receiving the absolution if that was what I was hearing. BUT–I think I remember, somewhere, that it is impossible to receive absolution, or any other sacrament remotely.

So my prayer was sort of “Lord, if this is efficacious, please apply it to me, if not, thank You anyhow”.

Tried to get an answer from the apologists, but no response as of yet. So am trying again, here.

It was not a general absolution; it was the Urbi et Orbi blessing. There is a formula that is similar to that used at the Penitential Rite at Mass, but it’s not a sacramental absolution. However, the Urbi et Orbi carries with it a plenary indulgence, subject to the usual conditions: prayer for the Pope’s intentions, Holy Communion and Confession within seven days of the event.

And as per the announcement given on the balcony, it applies to all who were present and joined in through TV, radio and live Internet at the time.

TY. I was listening via a secular network and the translation was spotty.

Yeah, as I recall–blessings can be communicated remotely, sacraments cannot. Have no idea of the mechanics of this, but that’s what I think I recollect that I believe I understood.

Just to avoid any impression that I am pontificating.

Your understanding is correct.

What you heard was this:

“May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant you indulgence, absolution, and remission of all your sins, time for a true and fruitful penance, an always repentant heart and amendment of life, the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit, and final perseverance in good works.”

This does not have the efficacy of sacramental absolution (for which the formula is “I absolve you”) but is an invocation for the absolution of the faithful, the remission of temporal punishment (after an actual sacramental confession, so you can take it as if the Pope is praying that the faithful go to Confession), purpose of amendment, peace of conscience and final perseverance, so in other words, he is praying for the faithful’s salvation.

But the whole Urbi et Orbi carries with it the plenary indulgence so for those who received the blessing even remotely and properly disposed, they gain it when the other conditions are fulfilled.

Did they say this at the time? I learned that blessings are for those who are there in person. That there’s no such thing as a cyber blessing.

Just curious…

I think this is unique to the papal Urbi et Orbi Blessing. As the name implies it is given to the whole world. It is received by those who view it live. It does not apply to those viewing a rebroadcast.

Yes, and it’s not the first time. Blessings have been considered validly carried over the airwaves. However, it must be live and not a rerun or recording.

Sacraments, though, never are.

While sacraments are not things that can be conferred when not there in person. Blessings most certainly are! One only has to open a Bible and read letters to the first Christians that grant blessings. Do you think Paul did not have the power to bless with his letters? Because he wrote blessing in them!

Source on the live issue?

I would think that if the intent of a blessing on a podcast by a bishop was to bless those who hear it it would not be live. I have heard hundreds of blessings on a podcast. Not only that but on the radio there is a 7 second delay in the states.

The idea of the letters of early Christians to communities through christendom are direct parallels to this idea. In fact people get blessings much quicker now than in the past.
And in our modern times, if you go to a Rome, you can have blessings for many many things. You can have a prclaimation to bless your marriage and it usually arrives about a month after you get home.:shrug:

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