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Proclaim Christ the king of mercy, pope says at end of Holy Year


  • Pope Francis closes the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica to mark the closing of the jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican Nov. 20. (CNS photo/Tiziana Fabi, pool via Reuters)
  • Pope Francis closes the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica to mark the closing of the jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican Nov. 20. (CNS photo/Tiziana Fabi, pool via Reuters)
  • Pope Francis closes the Holy Door of St. Peter's Basilica to mark the closing of the jubilee Year of Mercy at the Vatican Nov. 20. (CNS photo/Tiziana Fabi, pool via Reuters)
  • Pope Francis greets new Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago after celebrating the closing Mass of the jubilee Year of Mercy in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis greets new U.S. Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life, after celebrating the closing Mass of the jubilee Year of Mercy in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis greets new Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis after celebrating the closing Mass of the jubilee Year of Mercy in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Nov. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Following Christ the King, whose regal power is love and mercy, means the whole church and each Christian must "follow his way of tangible love," Pope Francis said.

Celebrating the feast of Christ the King Nov. 20 and officially closing the extraordinary jubilee celebration of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis insisted, "we have received mercy in order to be merciful."

On a warm, late fall morning, St. Peter's Square was filled with an estimated 70,000 people for the Mass, which was concelebrated by the new cardinals Pope Francis had created the previous day.

The pope and the new cardinals first went to the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica and gave thanks for "the gifts of grace received" during the Holy Year. Pope Francis then went to the threshold of the Holy Door and pulled each side shut. The door will be sealed until the next Holy Year, which is likely to be 2025.

In his homily, Pope Francis said that even if the Holy Door is closed, "the true door of mercy, which is the heart of Christ, always remains open wide for us."

The power of Christ the King, he said, "is not power as defined by this world, but the love of God, a love capable of encountering and healing all things."

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