The Holy Year Begins… In the Peripheries

In another first, Pope Francis has opened the doors to inaugurate the Jubilee Year of Mercy… not at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, but at the cathedral in Bangui in the Central African Republic. Here’s a video of it:


    1. @Fran Rossi Szpylczyn:
      Me too. He was making a very big statement as to what this Jubilee of Mercy means and what kind of Church he envisions. That is why he wanted to go to this country so badly he told the pilot of the plane on the way to Africa that if he felt he couldn’t be comfortable landing it in the country to just do a flyover and give him a parachute because one way or another he was going to this country.

  1. The sedia is overturned forever; the ermine trampled underfoot, torn to pieces. Once popes were petty princes. Now we have a self-proclaimed peacemaker who eagerly shares the Eucharist and then often afterwards an agape-lunch with the least, as they are always the first.

    I wonder if the martyr-popes were more like Pope Francis. Perhaps the martyrs slipped out in the Roman streets, dressed as ordinary men, yet on the crucial mission of celebrating the holy sacrifice. These early popes were not the Borgias, steeped in the pleasures and wealth of the papal court of the Renaissance. Nor is Pope Francis a sybarite. He disdains the old regal titles in favor of “Bishop of Rome”. Pope Francis’s diocese is strewn with the egotistical monarchism of his predecessors. It is as if the good pope moves past and through these monuments, which are now entirely redundant.

    1. @Jordan Zarembo:
      Jordan, your comment is near poetry. Beautiful and bracing. I tend to think, though, that what Francis brings is a distinctive moral imagination that allows him to break out of the ecclesial culture that history imposed on his predecessors. These predecessors, while great in their own ways, were less able to see beyond the accoutrements of that culture. Maybe it’s Francis’s own origins at the periphery that allows him to do so, with seemingly little effort.

      Compared to your soaring language, that probably sounds like rationalizing. I don’t intend it to be. I just think it’s a bit fairer to men like Roncalli, Montini, Wojtyla, and Ratzinger. I agree that Francis deserves praise and admiration heaped upon him. I’ll be among those crying “Santo Subito” when God calls him home — hopefully a very long time from now.

      1. @Barry Hudock:
        “A distinctive moral imagination” – I think you touch a key point. He captures the imagination. I think this is what that earlier Francis, and Ignatius, and many other saints did. This us what Jesus – the great prophets – did; they spoke to the imagination.

  2. Pope Francis announced several weeks ago that he would open the Holy Door at the Cathedral in Bangui. Did the Holy Year begin today?

    I ask as I know that Pope Francis established that on December 8, 2015, the beginning of the Holy Year, those who approach priests of the Society of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins.

    As of now, may the faithful approach with Church approval priests of the SSPX to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

    Edward Rogers

    1. @Edward Rogers:
      According to the remarks the pope made prior to the opening of the door, I think it did. He stated that the spiritual center of the world was in Bangui, here, today and was very emphatic about it.

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