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The Pope declares 2025 a holy year – DW – 05/10/2024

The Pope declares 2025 a holy year – DW – 05/10/2024

Pope Francis He used Ascension Thursday to preside over the reading of the papal bull in St. Peter’s Basilica RomeDeclaring the year 2025 a holy year Catholics around the world.

The event, which takes place every 25 years, will begin on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2024; It continues until Epiphany on January 6, 2026.

What did the Pope say?

In the official decree, Francis announced that the theme of the celebration would be “Hope,” and called on rich countries to relieve poor countries of the debts owed to them, and suggested that they “recognize the seriousness of many of their previous decisions and resolve to get rid of the debts they owe.” Forgiving debts that countries will never be able to repay.

He also pointed to “environmental debt associated with trade imbalances affecting the environment and the disproportionate use of natural resources by some countries over long periods of time.”

The papal bull is an official decree of the Holy See, and the name “bull” refers to the lead seal it bears.Photo: Vatican Media/Catholic Press/Image Alliance

“Hope is needed by God’s creation – which has been severely damaged and distorted by human selfishness. Hope is needed by those peoples and nations who look to the future with anxiety and fear,” the Pope said during the vigil after the official reading.

The Holy Year tradition, begun by Pope Boniface VIII in 1300, begins with the pope opening the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica and inviting pilgrims to visit the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul. The Jubilee includes an indulgence for the forgiveness of sins and requires pilgrims to visit four of the city’s main cathedrals (St. Peter’s, St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul Outside the Walls).

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Despite Francis’ announcement Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy 2016The last major holy year, the Great Jubilee, was held in the year 2000, and in it Pope John Paul II He led the Roman Catholic Church into the third millennium.

The Holy Year will begin with the Pope opening the Holy Door of St. Peter’s BasilicaPhoto: Vatican Media/Catholic Press/Image Alliance

Rome needs a miracle

Nearly 25 million pilgrims attended the jubilee in 2000. Organizers expect that number to be between 30 and 32 million this time.

Despite the sheer size of many The additional tourists are a blessing to the church and the cityMany express concern about whether they can all be accommodated in Rome’s overburdened and outdated infrastructure.

The city is extremely congested, and is currently a massive 24-hour construction site – with major infrastructure projects around St Peter’s but also along the Tiber River and the central streets and squares – all bringing traffic to a standstill.

Rome residents, already accustomed to traffic congestion, face construction work around the clock until at least Christmas Photo: Reinhard Küngel/Image Alliance

Rome is set to receive about 4 billion euros ($4.3 billion) in public funds (1.3 billion euros in special Jubilee funds and 3 billion euros in public and other EU funds for the post-pandemic period) to complete works aimed at modernizing roads and transport. Public, subway and communications systems.

All of these projects, especially those involving underground works, are made extremely difficult by the need to protect the city’s rich archaeological heritage.

Currently, only two of the city’s 231 projects have been completed, but Mayor Roberto Gualtieri is confident that the “essential projects” can be completed before pilgrims begin arriving. Gualtieri said Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government collapses in 2022 He hampered their start but added: “We’ve recovered a lot from the initial delay.”

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“In a beautiful city, you live better,” said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, who was appointed by Pope Francis to coordinate. Vatican Planning the Holy Year.

“Rome will become a more beautiful city, because it will be more than ever at the service of its people and the pilgrims and tourists who will come to it,” Fisichella said.

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js/kb (AFP, AP)