MANILA, Nov. 23, 2015— Amid recent episodes of violence, the world today is in dire need – more than ever – of the Year of Mercy, said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila.
He said the recent spate of “senseless” terror attacks are but just the consequences of the “lack of mercy” in the modern word.
“Yes, I believe it (Year of Mercy) has become more urgent,” Cardinal Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis, said over Vatican Radio.
“We have to ask what happens in the human heart when it loses mercy. It can be blind to power and it can do things that are terrible,” he said.
The prelate said he is hoping that the upcoming Jubilee of Mercy would “awaken minds and hearts” even the non-Catholics.
“We are very hopeful that this Jubilee Year of Mercy will be able to respond to the great needs of our society. This is a blessing not only for the Catholic Church but for the whole world,” he said.
The Jubilee for Mercy is set to begin on Dec. 8, but Pope Francis will jumpstart the celebration on Nov. 29 by opening the diocese of Bangui’s Holy Door while in the Central African Republic.
It was in March 2015 when the Pope announced an extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy in his continued push for a more open, compassionate, and merciful church.
After the Holy Door of St. Peter’s is opened on Dec. 8, the Holy Doors of the other papal basilicas will be opened in the subsequent days.
‘Open doors of charity’
The pontiff has also requested that every diocese throughout the world open a similar “Door of Mercy” for the local celebrations of Jubilee.
In Manila, Cardinal Tagle will lead the celebration of the Holy Year at the Manila Cathedral at 3 p.m. on Dec. 9.
“The Year of Mercy calls for conversion. Mercy is God’s gift to us and the human heart must ask who are we to deserve this compassion and love? And this is already the beginning of conversion,” he said.
Tagle also said the Pope wants the Church and the faithful to open not only jubilee doors of basilicas but also “open doors of charity”.
He encouraged the faithful to continue making acts of mercy such as giving food to the hungry, visiting the prisoners or the charity wards of hospitals, home for the elderly and orphanages, among others.
“They are also places to visit and I’m sure there will be a lot of indulgence and blessings,” added Tagle. (Roy Lagarde / CBCPNews)