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The church exists only as an instrument to communicate to people the merciful design of God

Letter from Rome

Pope Francis  greets Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila after the celebration of a Mass marking the end of the Jubilee of Mercy, on Nov. 20 at the Vatican. (Photo by AFP) 

Robert Mickens, Vatican City
Vatican City

November 21, 2016

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Pope Francis presided at his third cardinal-creating consistory on Nov. 19 in St. Peter's Basilica where he gave the red hat to 13 new papal electors and four others over the age of 80 who are ineligible to vote in a conclave.

It is essential to note that the pope chose to hold the ceremony in conjunction with the conclusion of the Holy Year of Mercy, which he has tied the renewal brought by the Second Vatican Council.

"The Jubilee was also the Jubilee of the Council, hic et nunc, where the time of (the council's) reception and the time of forgiveness coincide," Pope Francis explained in a news interview that appeared Nov. 18 in the Italian Catholic daily L'Avvenire.

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