The San Sebastian Cathedral of the Diocese of Bacolod is listed as one of the 537 pilgrimage churches from 85 of the country’s dioceses. This listing is part of the quincentennial commemoration of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
In a February 25 decree issued to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Pope Francis granted plenary indulgences to Filipinos visiting any of these Jubilee Churches across the country anytime until April 22, 2022.
According to CBCP News, the document signed by the head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, noted that this “would be an opportunity to increase the virtues of faith, hope and charity” among pilgrims.
To avail of the plenary indulgence, the faithful making the pilgrimage has to avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the intentions of the pope.
Last December 9, 2020, Bishop Patricio A. Buzon, SDB DD wrote a letter of request to CBCP President and Archbishop of Davao, Most Reverend Romulo G. Valles, DD requesting for “the inclusion of the historic San Sebastian Cathedral of the Diocese of Bacolod in the CBCP Listing of Jubilee Churches for the observance of 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines.”
“An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due to sins, which have already been forgiven. Amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the gift of plenary indulgence is also extended to the sick, the elderly, and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave their homes”, the CBCP press release noted.