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Francis opens Jubilee year with call for church that puts mercy before judgment


JOSHUA J. MCELWEE

Source:
Lastampa
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
12/6/2015

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ABSTRACTFrancis opens Jubilee year with call for church that puts mercy before judgment - La Stampa jubilee 2015 ACCEDI Segui follow us on sections News World news Inquiries and interviews The vatican Agenda About us Reviews Documents Saint of the day The angelus cartoon Rules of etiquete Glossary Chinese Arab Polish Francis opens Jubilee year with call for church that puts mercy before judgment Francis and the “mother Church” against hatred, violence and terrorism Far-reaching, low-cost Jubilee aims at the heart and focuses on the poor Francis opens Jubilee year with call for church that puts mercy before judgment In a solemn Mass attended by tens of thousands in St. Peter’s Square and marked by an unusually high security presence, the Pope praised the work of the Second Vatican Council and said the newly-opened Jubilee “compels us not to neglect the spirit which emerged” from that event Guarda anche Leggi anche 08/12/2015 joshua j. mcelwee VATICAN CITY   Pope Francis has launched his yearlong push for a global Catholic church of mercy and forgiveness, starting the Jubilee year focused on the subject by opening the holy door at St. Peter’s Basilica and calling for a church that always puts mercy before judgment.    In a solemn Mass attended by tens of thousands in a chilly St. Peter’s Square and marked by an unusually high security presence, the pontiff also praised the work of the Second Vatican Council and said the newly-opened Jubilee “compels us not to neglect the spirit which emerged” from that event.    “This Extraordinary Holy Year is itself a gift of grace,” Francis said during the homily at the Mass. “To enter through the Holy Door means to rediscover the deepness of the mercy of the Father who welcomes all and goes out to meet everyone personally.”    “How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we affirm that sins are punished by his judgment before putting first that they are forgiven by his mercy!” the pope exhorted.    “It is truly so,” he said. “We have to put mercy before judgment, and in every case God’s judgment will always be in the light of his mercy.”      “Let us abandon all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved,” said Francis. “Instead, let us live the joy of encounter with the grace that transforms all.”    The Pontiff was speaking in the Mass opening the Jubilee year of mercy, which will continue from Tuesday through Nov. 20, the day celebrated next year as the feast of Christ the King.    A Jubilee year is a special year called by the Catholic church to receive blessing and pardon from God and remission of sins.    While most Jubilees have been focused on calling pilgrims to Rome to receive such pardon, Francis has widely expanded his Jubilee, asking that dioceses throughout the world open their own holy door at a cathedral or other church to expand the practice globally.    A holy door is a door normally designated in special churches -- like the four papal basilicas in Rome -- to be opened only during Jubilee years as a sign of the possibility of re-entering into God’s grace.    Francis opened the holy door in St. Peter’s Basilica towards the end of the Mass Tuesday. Standing in front of the door, located at the northeast corner of the Vatican basilica, the pontiff asked God to grant “a year of grace, a favorable time to love you and our brothers and sisters in the joy of the Gospel.”    Calling Jesus “the shining face of your infinite mercy, safe refuge for us sinners, needing of forgiveness and peace” and saying that Christ is the door “through which we come to [God],” the pope pushed through the door open slowly with both hands while walking through.    Retired Pope Benedict XVI, looking a bit frail while grasping a cane to walk, was the second person to follow Francis through the door, and the two pontiffs embraced and spoke briefly both before and after the opening of the threshold.    Both Francis’ homily at the Mass and the ceremony itself also paid tribute to the Second Vatican Council, which officially closed its work on Dec. 8, 1965.    The Council, known colloquially as Vatican II, has been a hot point for conversation in Catholic circles over the past 40 years, with some praising its work to reform certain aspects of the church’s teachings and others saying those reforms may have gone too far or have been misinterpreted.    The Eucharistic celebration Tuesday was opened with readings of excerpts from the Council’s four constitutions and its documents on ecumenism and religious liberty. In his homily, Francis said the Council documents “verify the great advance in fai.......