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Pope Francis: The Church needs this Holy Year of Mercy

Pope Francis pushes open the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica, formally launching the Holy Year of Mercy, at the Vatican. The work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, based at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, to provide food to people in Burlington who might otherwise go hungry is one example of how the parish already puts mercy into action. Yes, dear brothers and sisters, this Holy Year is offered to us to experience in our lives the sweet and gentle touch of God’s forgiveness, his presence beside us and his closeness especially in times of the greatest need.

Francis called the Jubilee, which runs until November 20, 2016, with the express goal of changing the way the Church is perceived by the faithful, lapsed believers and the rest of the world. Let each Catholic in our diocese pass through a Holy Door during this Jubilee Year and know the Mercy of God.

The Vatican is also seriously considering joining the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, eventually signing an agreement out of Paris and then coming up with a plan to reduce emissions for the Vatican City itself, said Archbishop Bernadito Auzo, the acting head of the Vatican delegation observing climate talks.

“Mercy is the opposite of misery”, said the Rev. Allan Fitzgerald, professor of theology and director of the Augustinian Institute at Villanova University. “But the promised triumph of Christ’s love enfolds everything in the Father’s mercy”.

Every cathedral in the world has a designated Door of Mercy for the Jubilee.

Turkson said the Vatican has a great interest in seeing the negotiations succeed, particularly getting the world to stop using carbon power by midcentury.

The Pope has already decided that for the entire Holy Year priests everywhere may grant absolution for abortion, a sin for which only bishops may order excommunication, which is why a confessor usually tells a woman who has interrupted her pregnancy that he can not absolve her and that she has to seek help from the local bishop. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful”.

This episode encapsulates the Church’s Holy Year of Mercy which Pope Francis inaugurated on December 8. May we fill up on it so that it affects our relationships with one another. “That takes us back to the year of mercy”.

This shift towards the fundamentals of the Catholic life was taken up by Pope Francis, with his heart for the poor and his zeal for mission.

For all the pomp of Tuesday’s ceremony, Francis technically launched the Holy Year of Mercy while on his recent trip in the Central African Republic, when he pushed open the Holy Door of the Bangui cathedral. While some may believe that the Church has more important objectives, he said, rediscovering divine mercy and forgiveness is essential to avoid falling into self-love, which can often be “disguised in a Christian life as hypocrisy and worldliness”.

The pope has asked each person to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy by showing mercy to others as a reflection of the mercy God constantly extends to us.

“You can not conceive of a true Christian who is not merciful, just as you can not conceive of God without his mercy”.

“As we pass through Him, we pass through salvation”, McQuaide said, noting that a smaller celebration of Holy Doors was marked in 2000.

Blessed Paul VI attempted, as best he could, to keep the ship of faith on course amid the storm, with the articulation of his Credo of the People of God and other measures, but as he faced his death in the summer of 1978, he felt obliged, in his final public homily, to insist, with St Paul, “I have kept the faith!”

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