28 April 2015, The Tablet

Dioceses asked to have a Holy Door during Year of Mercy

Every cathedral in England and Wales will be asked to designate a Holy Door and shrines in place during the forthcoming Year of Mercy.

The Bishops’ Conference said today that dioceses must find ways to “practically express” Pope Francis’ call for mercy during the Jubilee Year.

The decision was made at their plenary meeting, which took place last week in Rome.

As well as dedicating Holy Doors and shrines in their cathedrals, dioceses are to encourage people to go on pilgrimages and to strongly promote Confession – particularly on the weekend of 4-5 March 2016, which falls in the middle of Lent.

Dioceses will be expected “to recognise that mercy provides a fruitful avenue of dialogue with other Christians, other religions and non-believers and that the practice of mercy teaches us tenderness for the world God has created,” the Bishops’ concluded.

They also called on Catholics to vote in May’s General Election and encouraged people to attend an hour-long prayer vigil on the eve of Polling Day, 6 May, in Parliament Square in London. The ecumenical vigil, which is due to take place from 7.14pm, is backed by Conservative Christian peer Baroness Berridge of the Vale of Catmose.

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