The National Catholic Review

In an apostolic letter released at the close of the Holy Year of Mercy on the feast of Christ the King, Nov. 20, Pope Francis called on the Catholic Church worldwide “to promote a culture of mercy in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sisters.” In this 19-page text, called “Misericordia et Misera,” (“Mercy and Misery”), the Argentine pope issued a call “to set in motion a real cultural revolution, beginning with simple gestures capable of reaching body and spirit, people’s very lives.” He sees the urgent need for this in today’s world, badly marked by polarization, violence, exclusion and the pathology of indifference. In a decision aimed at healing the grave wound caused by abortion, Francis has given priests worldwide the faculty to pardon the sin of abortion. Pope Francis said “Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the church; it constitutes her very existence, through which the profound truths of the Gospel are made manifest and tangible. Everything is revealed in mercy; everything is resolved in the merciful love of the Father.”

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