Does walking through the Holy Doors on Jubilee Years remove ALL temporal punishment one has committed up to that point in their lives?

I may or may not be misreading some things I read about the Jubilee year. I am aware that walking through the Holy doors removes all temporal punishment due to sin and is support to symbolize us walking into God’s mercy and answering Jesus’ Knock at the door of our heart but I wonder if all of the temporal punishment from our sins in our Lives up until that point are all wiped away, or since our last confession? I assume the first because these grand events only happen once every 25 years so the average person will have I’d say at least 3 jubilees in their lifetime.

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It’s a plenary indulgence, so lifetime of sin ‘s temporal punishment is wiped away. Think of it in the same terms as a baptism.

Did you see Dogma too? Good one.

Yeah, it’s plenary, if you meet all the conditions. There’s a real catch to plenaries, though, and that is the line about “freedom from attachment to all sin, even venial sin.” It’s not impossible, but it trips up a lot of people, I can tell you that. Like for example, if I have a porn addiction and I repent of it and go to Confession and delete 99% of the files from my computer and my bookmarks etc., personally I would say that that 1% of attachment still persists, and I would not be a candidate for the plenary. Perhaps a very large indulgence, I will grant you that, but not a complete 100% plenary because of the remaining attachment. And so forth for whatever sin you might currently enjoy. Good luck!

Walking through a Holy Door in a Jubilee year is a plenary indulgenced work, and needs to be done under the “usual conditions” for a plenary indulgence:

  • be in a state of grace when you walk through the doors
  • confess within 20 days before or after
  • receive one communion within a few days of walking through the door,
  • pray for the intentions of the Holy Father,
  • and have no attachment to sin, even venial sin.

If you successfully accomplish all these things with the intent of obtaining the plenary indulgence, and furthermore you intend to keep it for yourself and not give it away to holy soul in purgatory, then yes, the plenary indulgence wipes away all temporal punishment from sin up to that point in our lives.

If you do not meet one of the “usual conditions” then the indulgence will be partial, meaning that it will wipe away some of the temporal punishment, but not all. Presumably, the closer you come to meeting all the conditions, then the more temporal punishment is removed, for example if you met almost all the conditions you could have 90% temporal punishment removed but if you met none of them you could have 1% of the temporal punishment removed. But we have no way of knowing for sure exactly how much is removed.

I would note that you can get a plenary indulgence every single day of every single year (one a day maximum) for doing all kinds of stuff that you can do every day, such as praying Rosaries, making Stations of the Cross, reading the Bible, etc. You don’t need to wait for a Jubilee year with holy doors. I’m very familiar with Holy Doors because I walked through something like 20 of them (Some of them multiple times) during the Year of Mercy a few years ago, that’s how I got started with plenary indulgence practice. All they are, is an easy plenary indulgence, because typically doing a plenary indulgenced work takes about a half hour, with some exceptions.


There are also Jubilee Years that the Pope can proclaim as an extraordinary Jubilee Year. Pope John Paul declared 2000 as a Great Jubilee Year in celebration of the new millennium. During 2016, we have the Jubilee Year of Mercy. And a special Jubilee Year is declared for the celebration of the 50th year of a Pope in the priesthood.

But to receive the plenary indulgence, the faithful were expected to do the following:

  • Confess their sins
  • Partake in the Holy Communion/Eucharist
  • Participate in the Prayer for the Pope
  • Renunciation from all the sins

Does one need to be in the state of Grace to walk through those doors and receive the indulgence?

Or can one in mortal or venial sin walk through and then go to confession?

My understanding is that you always have to be in a state of grace to earn the plenary indulgence. (I note that the vast majority of us are in a state of venial sin most of the time, with the exception of maybe a short while after using holy water or receiving Communion or absolution, and being in a state of venial sin does not remove one from the state of grace.)

The first time I walked through a Holy Door I was not in the state of grace because I hadn’t been to confession in 18 years and had committed many big whopping grave sins. So, I walked through the door, went to confession, then walked out the same door when I left, then just to make sure (because I wasn’t sure if walking through the door to go out counted, or did you have to walk through the door coming in) I think I turned around and walked back in again so I would be walking through it in a state of grace.

If you think you are not in a state of grace when you enter the church, I would recommend that you go out and walk back in through the holy door again after you are absolved. Just to make sure. It doesn’t hurt anything.


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