Pope proclaims special year of mercy | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Pope proclaims special year of mercy

Posted: Apr 11, 2015 at 7:58 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Celestine Amoke (With Agency report)
Pope Francis on Saturday proclaimed a special year of worldwide efforts by the Catholic Church to stress mercy, not severity, saying the institution’s credibility was at stake.
The Pope at St. Peter’s Basilica Saturday evening, listened as a Vatican prelate read from a papal bull, or decree, in which Francis proclaimed an “Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy” Holy Year.
The year which begins on December 8 with the Pope’s opening the normally closed Holy Door in the back of the basilica, ends November 20, 2016.
He said the church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love.
“In a word, wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy,” the Pope said in the 12-page long decree.
The Pope said the Vatican’s modernising reforms of the 1960s reflected “the need to talk about God …in a more accessible way” and tear down “walls which too long had made the Church a kind of fortress,” he said.
He quoted St. John XXIII, who began the reforms, saying the church needed to renounce “arms of severity” for the “medicine of mercy.”
The pope in explaining his choice of year of mercy, said that great historical change means the faithful must renew their “capacity to see what is essential” in the church’s mission.
In a new practice, he announced that in cathedrals and some shrines worldwide, a special “door of mercy” would stay open during Holy Year.