Time for forgiveness has begun, pope says as holy doors open worldwide

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With the opening the Holy Door at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Pope Francis declared that the time for tenderness, joy and forgiveness had begun. As holy doors around the world were opened at city cathedrals, major churches and sanctuaries Dec. 13, the pope said this simple gesture of opening…

Pope Francis: The church needs this Holy Year of Mercy

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church needs the extraordinary Holy Year to become an effective witness of God’s divine mercy, Pope Francis said. “The jubilee is a favorable time for all of us, so that in contemplating divine mercy, which surpasses every human limitation and shines in the darkness of sin, we may become…

Good works are proper response to God’s ‘exaggerated’ pardon, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When the Bible says, “though your sins be like scarlet” God will make them “white as snow,” it exaggerates, just like God exaggerates in his willingness to forgive people, Pope Francis said. “The Lord forgives generously,” the pope said March 3 during his early morning Mass. God never says, “‘I will…

Confession is time to encounter God, it’s not a dry cleaners, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While people must be honest and specific about their sins when they go to confession, they will miss the sacrament’s key grace if they are “completely mechanical” about listing their sins, Pope Francis said. Confession is not a time for judgment, but for an encounter with the merciful God who is…