Monday, December 14, 2015

Pope Francis Inaugurates the Holy Year of Mercy (December, 2015 - November, 2016)

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.
Pope Francis, on December 8 -- the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary -- inaugurated the Catholic Church's Holy (or Jubilee) Year, called this time The Holy Year of Mercy, by opening and entering the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI along with scores of cardinals, bishops, and priests was also present at the ceremony.   

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:

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