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Pope issues new Apostolic Letter on mercy, extending some initiatives of Jubilee

VATICAN-JUBILEE-HOLY YEAR

ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP

Pope Francis opens a "Holy Door" at St Peter's basilica to mark the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, on December 8, 2015 in Vatican. In Catholic tradition, the opening of "Holy Doors" in Rome symbolises an invitation from the Church to believers to enter into a renewed relationship with God. / AFP / ALBERTO PIZZOLI

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 11/21/16

From Vatican Radio: 

Although the Extraordinary Jubilee Year has concluded, we are still living in a “time of mercy.” That was the message of Pope Francis is a lengthy Apostolic Letter, entitled Misericordia et misera, (“Mercy and Misery”), issued at the close of the Year of Mercy. The title refers to the encounter between Jesus and the woman caught in adultery, from the eight chapter of the Gospel of Saint John. In his commentary on the Gospel, St Augustine said of that encounter, “the two of them” – Jesus and the woman – “remained alone: mercy with misery.” The teaching of this Gospel, the Pope said, “serves not only to throw light on the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, but also to point out the path that we are called to follow in the future.” In light of the “great graces of mercy” we have received during the Jubilee, our first response is to give thanks to the Lord for His gifts. But in going forward, we must also continue to celebrate mercy, especially in the liturgical celebrations of the Church, including in the Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the other Sacraments, especially in Reconciliation and in Anointing of the Sick, the two “sacraments of healing.” Pope Francis proposed a number of ideas to continue the celebration of mercy, including an annual day dedicated making the Scriptures better known and more widely diffused. He also called on the faithful to restore the Sacrament of Reconciliation to a “central place in Christian life.” The Holy Father also extended a number of initiatives already begun in the Holy Year, asking the Missionaries of Mercy to continue their ministry, and extending indefinitely the faculties of priests of the Society of St Pius X to hear confessions and grant absolution. Pope Francis also extended the faculties of all priests to absolve the sin of procured abortion. “I want to insist as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin,” the Pope said, “because it puts an end to an innocent life.” But, he continued, “I can and I must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.”

Read on. 

Read the full text of the letter here. 

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