The word plenary comes from the Latin plenarius and means full. Full is understood as a modality of meeting attended by all possible members that form a collective, or else, by its vast majority.
In relation to its historical origin, we must place it in the context of ancient Rome, where Roman Law and the set of institutions that required a system to organize meetings began.
The use of the term plenary today
In most institutions, both public and private, an administrative protocol is required to regulate and formalize the meetings and thus obtain an official character. In this way, in the business field, the board of a company can call a plenary with the participation of representatives of that entity.
In the political area, the sessions of the various representative bodies are known as full
In this way, there are ordinary, extraordinary or solemn fulls. The plenary concept is therefore applied in city halls, congresses, in the chamber of representation or in any organ of popular representation.
In any case, the term has an eminently formal character and its use as a plenary agreement, plenary session or plenary council is quite common (the latter is part of ecclesiastical terminology).
In the legal field: Judgments can be divided into summaries or plenary
The first are those where the judgments are not final, so some kind of appeal or appeal is evident. Plenary judgments, on the other hand, are those processes for which a court has full powers and, consequently, there is no possibility of carrying out another judgment on the same matter. The plenary judgment is considered definitive, as it does not admit any type of appeal in this regard.
The plenary indulgence
An indulgence is a pardon, that is, an absolution. In the Catholic tradition, indulgences are given to forgive certain faults or sins. However, there is one particular mode of indulgence, the plenary indulgence, which consists in the forgiveness of all sin-related guilt.
To carry out a plenary indulgence it is necessary to fulfill certain conditions, for example, confession, communion, prayer and even some complementary actions, such as performing spiritual exercises or pilgrimage in some holy place.