A Year of Mercy as announced by Pope Francis commenced on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 2015. For this Year of Mercy Pope Francis has invited all dioceses to open a Door of Mercy which will allow people who cannot travel to Rome to make a Jubilee pilgrimage. At the opening of the Holy Door of Mercy in Rome this week, Pope Francis said: "You cannot conceive of a true Christian who is not merciful, just as you cannot conceive of God without his Mercy. Mercy is the key word of the Gospel. … We should not be afraid: We should allow ourselves to be embraced by the mercy of God.”
Bishop Paul Bird opened the Door of Mercy in St Patrick’s Cathedral at the 10.30 am Mass on December 13. The gate to the Sturt Entrance was also opened which then leads down to the doors of the Cathedral.
With a sense of gratitude for the gift of the council and for all the gifts the church has received from God, Pope Francis invites us to enter into the Jubilee of Mercy. “With these sentiments of gratitude for everything the Church has received, and with a sense of responsibility for the task that lies ahead, we shall cross the threshold of the Holy Door fully confident that the strength of the Risen Lord, who constantly supports us on our pilgrim way, will sustain us. May the Holy Spirit, who guides the steps of believers in cooperating with the work of salvation wrought by Christ, lead the way and support the People of God so that they may contemplate the face of mercy.”