The principal Brotherhoods of Spain, usually headquartered in the provincial capitals, are allowed to choose one person to whom the authorities will grant a pardon from their jail sentence. In fact, this is the season of pardons in most Catholic countries. The Pope has no doubt prepared a long list of prisoners to be pardoned. But back to Spain and its parish Brotherhoods or Fraternities. This long-standing tradition should not be confused with the Church's scandals of some 500 years ago, whereby 'indulgences' were bought from the canonical authorities as a way of securing entry to Heaven. These indulgencias are only slightly more modern, yet firmly linked to the ancient Catholic traditions (read more on Wikipedia). There are strict rules and regulations about how to obtain them, which the pardoned convicts will have had to observe.