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Pope opens 'Holy Door' in Bangui ahead of Catholic Jubilee year

Pope opens 'Holy Door' in Bangui ahead of Catholic Jubilee year Pope opens 'Holy Door' in Bangui ahead of Catholic Jubilee year

Pope Francis on Sunday made a highly symbolic gesture by opening a "Holy Door" at Bangui Cathedral in the Central African Republic ahead of the start of a Catholic Jubilee Year, marking forgiveness and reconciliation, AFP reports.

"Open for us the gate of your mercy," the 78-year-old pope prayed before opening the door. "We ask for peace for Central African Republic and for all people who suffer from war."

According to Catholic tradition, passing through such a "holy door" during a Jubilee Year allows worshippers to be forgiven their sins. 

Although the Jubilee Year will formally be inaugurated on December 8, opening the door marks its symbolic start. 

Until now, such a gesture has only ever taken place in the Church's headquarters in the Vatican or in Rome. 

"If he opens the Holy Door in Bangui, a Jubilee Year will begin for the first time ever in the periphery" rather than the Vatican, Radio Vatican's Giulio Albanese told AFP ahead of the visit.


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