While it was already well-noted that the Pope was marking the hour of the second anniversary of his election by returning to his favorite sacrament – leading a Lenten Penance Service with individual Confessions in St Peter’s – Francis upped the ante considerably moments ago with a surprise announcement of immense significance: his indiction of an “Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy” as a moment for the entire church to spread the word of God’s forgiveness, beginning on December 8th.

Set to include the opening of the basilica’s Holy Door – the Jubilee ritual which normally only takes place every quarter-century – the Pope said the Year of Mercy will run until the end of November 2016. The intended opening day for the observance coincides with the 50th anniversary of the close of Vatican II.

via Whispers in the Loggia: A “Jubilee of Mercy” – On 2nd Anniversary, Pope Calls Extraordinary Holy Year of “God’s Forgiveness”.

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