|Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican on December 8|
|Pope Francis opens and enters the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. John Lateran on December 13|
Photo courtesy: Rex, via The Telegraph, U.K.
The main purpose of this special year is to demonstrate the merciful and welcoming aspect of the Catholic Church rather than it moralizing , judging, and condemning aspect.
Pope Francis said: "How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgment before we speak of their being forgiven before judgment and in any event God's judgment will always be in the light of his mercy."
Unprecedented security measures were taken for the pilgrims and attendees to the outdoor ceremony. Due to security concerns, due to previous Islamic State (ISIS) threat to the Vatican, only about 50,000 people participated in the inauguration ceremony.
The Holy Year of Mercy, beginning from December, 2015, will last until November of 2016.
For details on the inauguration of the Holy Year of Mercy (or Jubilee Year), please read the following:
- Holy Year is a reminder to put mercy before judgment, pope says (Catholic News Service, USA)
- Pope Francis Opens Holy Door, says: "We Have to Put Mercy before Judgment" (America magazine, USA)
- Pope Francis Opens Door on His Holy Year of Mercy (NBC News, USA)
- Francis opens Jubilee Year with call for church that puts mercy before judgment (National Catholic Reporter, USA)
- Pope Francis opens St. Peter's Holy Door to launch jubilee (BBC News, U.K.)
- Pope Francis opens doors to 'Year of Mercy' in a time of fear (chron.com)
- Opening the Holy Year, Francis says mercy always trumps judgment (cruxnow.com)
- Cathedrals around the world throw open Holy Doors on order of Pope (The Telegraph, U.K.)
- Holy Year of Mercy (The National Catholic Reporter, USA)
- Holy Year of Mercy (cruxnow.com)
- Full Text of Pope's Homily for Opening of Jubilee of Mercy (zenit.org)
- Why a Jubilee of Mercy? Because the Church needs it, Pope Francis says (CNA, Rome)
- The Year of Mercy and theology: a conversation with Cardinal Muller (CNA, Rome)
- What is the Catholic Year of Mercy? (BBC News, U.K.)
- Hebrew origin of the Jubilee in the Old Testament (zenit.org)
- Everything you need to know about the Holy Year of Mercy (cruxnow.com)
- Francis announces wide indulgences for mercy Jubilee, grants Lefebvrites faculties (The National Catholic Reporter, USA)
- Vatican unveils logo, prayer, details of Holy Year of Mercy (The National Catholic Reporter, USA)
- Francis: If church forgets mercy even for one moment, its work is 'useless' (The National Catholic Reporter, USA)
- What I am supposed to do for the Year of Mercy? (The National Catholic Reporter, USA)