Korean dioceses end mercy year with calls for more charity
Although year has ended, Catholics should keep God's mercy through charity and prayer, says Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung
Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Seoul's Myeongdong Cathedral on August 18, 2014. Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul celebrated the jubilee's closing Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral on Nov. 13 where he shut the "holy door" of mercy. (Photo by AFP)
Holy doors closed across South Korea marking the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, when Catholics try extra hard to bring forth the quality of mercy through charity, prayer and reflection.
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul celebrated the jubilee's closing Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral on Nov. 13 where he shut the "holy door" of mercy.
Last year, Pope Francis organized for holy doors to be made available throughout the world as part of the special jubilee. Holy Doors have been designated at various pilgrimage sites around the world during this Year of Mercy.
Catholics have the opportunity during this special year to obtain a plenary indulgence by passing through one of these doors while on pilgrimage.
"Although the jubilee ends today, we should keep God's mercy in our hearts and practice the quality in our lives by helping our neighbors," Cardinal Yeom said in his homily.
Most Korean dioceses celebrated the closing Mass on the same date except five dioceses that will close their holy doors on Nov. 20, the official end of the jubilee.
Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik of Daejeon, who closed the holy door in Daeheungdong Cathedral, said, "have we become more merciful? We should be able to tell what has changed over the last year."
Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju, president of the Catholic bishops' conference of Korea, said that mercy must radiate throughout communities.
"Catholics should keep reflecting … asking for forgiveness and trying to experience God's mercy. The mercy we experience ourselves will generate the power needed to give the same gift to our neighbors," he said in an interview with The Catholic Times.
Pope Francis declared the "Year of Mercy" encouraging people to "be merciful like the Father." Pope Francis declared an "Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy" beginning Dec. 8 on the feast of the Immaculate Conception and concluding Nov. 20 on the feast of Christ the King, when the pontiff shuts the door of mercy at St. Peter's Basilica.
Dec. 8, 2015, when the jubilee year began, also coincided with the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Second Vatican Council.
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