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Misericordia et Misera

· Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter at the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee ·

At the end of the Angelus on Sunday, 20 November, Pope Francis signed his Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera (Mercy with Misery) addressed to the whole of the Church so as to continue living the mercy experienced throughout the entire year of the Extraordinary Jubilee. On behalf of all the People of God, the Letter was received from the hands of the Pope by: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila; Msgr Leo William Cushley, Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh; two missionary priests of mercy, one from the Democratic Republic of Congo and the other from Brazil; a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Rome, together with his family; two nuns, one from Mexico and the other from South Korea; a family – including the parents, children and grandparents – from the United States; a young engaged couple; two catechist mothers from a parish in Rome; a person with a disability and a sick person.

Francis begins the Letter, which was disseminated on Monday morning, 21 November, with the encounter between Jesus and the adulterous woman, in order to outline the path of a Church that seeks always to be an instrument of mercy. The document rests on the premise that mercy is to be celebrated and lived. It provides helpful pastoral guidelines and certain changes: the first is that missionaries of mercy are confirmed in their service; moreover ,Francis extends “to all priests, in virtue of their ministry, the faculty to absolve those who have committed the sin of procured abortion”. With the same spirit, “for the recovery of full communion in the Catholic Church”, the Pontiff establishes that those who attend churches officiated by priests of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X can receive sacramental absolution. Another initiative arises from the invitation to give space to the Word of God, through the institution of a Sunday dedicated wholly to Sacred Scripture. Lastly, in the context of “social character of mercy”, the Pope also proposes the celebration of an annual World Day of the Poor.

The Apostolic Letter

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 19, 2018

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