Q. Does the Church, by granting Indulgences, free us from doing Penance?
A. The Church, by granting Indulgences, does not free us from doing penance, but simply makes our penance lighter that we may more easily satisfy for our sins and escape the punishments they deserve.
Q. Who has the power to grant Indulgences?
A. The Pope alone has the power to grant Indulgences for the whole Church; but the bishops have power to grant partial Indulgences in their own diocese. Cardinals and some others, by the special permission of the Pope, have the right to grant certain Indulgences.
Q. What must we do to gain an indulgence?
A. To gain an Indulgence we must be in the state of grace and perform the works enjoined.
Q. How and why should we make a general intention to gain all possible Indulgences each day?
A. We should make a general intention at our morning prayers to gain all possible Indulgences each day, because several of the prayers we say and good works we perform may have Indulgences attached to them, though we are not aware of it.
Q. What works are generally enjoined for the gaining of Indulgences?
A. The works generally enjoined for the gaining of Indulgences are: The saying of certain prayers, fasting, and the use of certain articles of devotion; visits to Churches or altars (tabernacles), and the giving of alms. For the gaining of Plenary Indulgences it is generally required to go to confession and Holy Communion and pray for the intention of the Pope.
Q. When do things lose the Indulgences attached to them?
A. Things lose the Indulgences attached to them: (1) When they are so changed at once as to be no longer what they were; (2) When they are sold. Rosaries and other indulgenced articles do not lose their indulgences, when they are loaned or given away, for the indulgence is not personal but attached to the article itself.
Q. How and when may we apply Indulgences for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory?
A. We may apply Indulgences for the benefit of the souls in Purgatory by way of intercession; whenever this application is mentioned and permitted by the Church in granting the Indulgence; that is, when the Church declares that the Indulgence granted is applicable to the souls of the living or the souls in Purgatory; so that we may gain it for the benefit of either.