Pope Francis calls for ‘great symphony of prayer’ ahead of 2025 Jubilee Year

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


Pope Francis prays after opening the Holy Door in St. Peters Basilica Dec. 8, 2015 launching the extraordinary jubilee of mercy. / LOsservatore Romano.

Vatican City, Feb 11, 2022 / 04:00 am (CNA).

Pope Francis called on Friday for a “great symphony of prayer” ahead of the Jubilee Year in 2025.

The pope made the appeal in a Feb. 11 letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

“As is customary, the Bull of Indiction, to be issued in due course, will contain the necessary guidelines for celebrating the Jubilee of 2025,” he wrote.

“In this time of preparation, I would greatly desire that we devote 2024, the year preceding the Jubilee event, to a great ‘symphony’ of prayer.”

In his letter, the pope explained that a Jubilee Year is “an event of great spiritual, ecclesial, and social significance in the life of the Church.”

“Ever since 1300, when Boniface VIII instituted the first Holy Year — initially celebrated every 100 years, then, following its biblical precedent, every 50 years, and finally every 25 years — God’s holy and faithful people has experienced this celebration as a special gift of grace, characterized by the forgiveness of sins and in particular by the indulgence, which is a full expression of the mercy of God,” he wrote.

There are two kinds of Jubilees: “ordinary,” when they fall after a set period such as 25 years, and “extraordinary,” when they mark notable events.

The celebration in 2025 — the year that marks the 1,700th anniversary of the Council of Nicaea — will be the Catholic Church’s first ordinary jubilee since Pope John Paul II presided over the Great Jubilee of the year 2000. The Jubilee of Mercy overseen by Pope Francis in 2015 was an extraordinary jubilee.

“The Great Jubilee of the year 2000 ushered the Church into the third millennium of her history. St. John Paul II had long awaited and greatly looked forward to that event, in the hope that all Christians, putting behind their historical divisions, could celebrate together the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of humanity,” Pope Francis wrote.

“Now, as the first 25 years of the new century draw to a close, we are called to enter into a season of preparation that can enable the Christian people to experience the Holy Year in all its pastoral richness.”

“A significant step on this journey was already taken with the celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which allowed us to appreciate anew all the power and tenderness of the Father’s merciful love, in order to become, in our turn, its witnesses.”

Pope Francis opens the Holy Doors at St. Peter's Basilica to begin the Year of Mercy, Dec. 8, 2015. . L'Osservatore Romano.
Pope Francis opens the Holy Doors at St. Peter’s Basilica to begin the Year of Mercy, Dec. 8, 2015. . L’Osservatore Romano.

The 2025 Jubilee will include the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica. Pilgrims who pass through the door — which is only opened during Jubilee years — can receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

The 85-year-old pope said he hoped that the 2025 Jubilee would help to restore “a climate of hope and trust” amid the “doubt, fear and disorientation” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“This will indeed be the case if we are capable of recovering a sense of universal fraternity and refuse to turn a blind eye to the tragedy of rampant poverty that prevents millions of men, women, young people and children from living in a manner worthy of our human dignity,” he wrote.

The Vatican announced in January that the motto of the Jubilee Year will be “Pilgrims of Hope.”

Looking ahead to 2024, the pope said: “In a word, may it be an intense year of prayer in which hearts are opened to receive the outpouring of God’s grace and to make the ‘Our Father,’ the prayer Jesus taught us, the life program of each of his disciples.”

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  1. Wondering prayerfully how well, in 2025, the “symphony” of prayer will harmonize with the more orchestrated Synod on Synodality (viz the grand finale “synthesis” of additively “compiled, and aggregated” concerns/agendas, together with “minority reports”), and especially the dull notes of the German “synodal way” (on a piano, the very broken “keys to the kingdom!”)

    Both paths now curiously projected to continue in an “endless journey” of parallel and supposedly/glibly harmonized contradictions, beyond 2023 into 2025 and beyond.

    Wondering, too, about the crying need, urgently noted by Pope Francis, for “universal fraternity.” But, also as clearly purified and even transformed by gifted, shared and sacramental incorporation into the mysterious divine life of the Triune One. This reality, as beckoning each of us weekly for centuries in our communal recitation of the Nicene Creed at each Eucharistic sacrifice/ celebration.

    And as for the wording of the Creed, it reflects St. Athanasius’ “Incarnation of the Word” actually written probably in A.D. 318, seven years prior to the Council of Nicaea. Athanasius was still a non-voting deacon even at the Council, but his written reflections—not original to himself, but based on what he and all others had been taught from the beginning in/by the Church—were the Council’s ready response to reductionist Arianism when it first appeared. (The 2500th anniversary of the book, then, would have been A.D. 2018.)

  2. Dissonance can add depth to harmony, or it can remain dissonant and disordered. What we pray for is what may produce harmony. Harmony in our modern age has tended toward an incorporation of world values, whereas the great Fathers of the Church perceived harmony as a revitalization of the natural law within the world. This brought about by prayer, example, and reason.
    Prayer for the intentions of the Roman pontiff is regularly offered as formatted within the Eucharistic liturgy after the consecration. Often raising the question [for this writer] whether those intentions are for the betterment of the Church, or for an agenda alien to it. As one might have conscientious reservations on the Synod on synodality format. That judgment cannot be honestly made, whereas what may seem a quandary is resolved by my intention, on behalf of his intentions, is for the good of the Church.
    A priest can be honest in disagreement with a Roman Pontiff where reasonable, and retain respect for the Chair of Peter, and even when behavior is disagreeable for the person. Faith and good will added to prayer can work miracles of grace, and in that vein we are indebted to heartily endorse Francis’ call to prayer.

    • Concurring, might we note the difference between Subtractive Compromise and Additive Compromise?

      Take, for example, St. John’s Gospel where he found the term LOGOS to be a valuable container for evangelizing the Greek Gentiles. To the Christians of Jewish heritage Logos meant the self-disclosing Divine Revelation in Christ; to the Gentiles logos meant the reasoned coherence of existence, or Reason. Logos: The Incarnation in the person of Christ, as also the embodied coherence between Faith and Reason…

      Likewise, today? With the Church and Pope Francis in our post-Christian, totally fractured and uncomprehending world? The term “FRATERNITY”? Instead of dissolving into generic Christianity, likely to be absorbed into the new-world-order “reset,” how might this single word instead contain the working of the Holy Spirit?

      ST. THOMAS MORE, who gave us the coherent “Development of Christian Doctrine,” also gave us this counsel for navigating in the world:

      “…Suppose wrong opinions cannot be plucked up by the root, and you cannot cure, as you would wish, vices of long standing, yet you must not on that account abandon ship of state and desert it in a storm, because you cannot control the winds. But neither must you impress upon them new and strange language, which you know will carry to weight with those of opposite conviction, but by indirect approach and covert suggestion you must endeavor and strive to the best of your power to handle all things well, and what you cannot turn to good, you must make as little bad as you can. For it is impossible that all should be well, unless all men are good, which I do not expect for a great many years to come” (Utopia).

      The PROBLEM is that “Utopia” (like the Logos or Fraternity) also has a double meaning! Ambiguity!

      “Sir Thomas More (1477 – 1535) was the first person to write of a ‘utopia’, a word used to describe a perfect imaginary world…He coined the word ‘utopia’ from the Greek ou-topos meaning ‘no place’ or ‘nowhere’. It was a pun – the almost identical Greek word eu-topos means ‘a good place.’” In many ways More’s ‘Utopia’ was a human anthill…

      But, yes, let us both practice and pray for Pope Francis’ “Fraternity.” This, without abandoning the Barque of Peter to the winds that blow, or to the lavender stowaways, or to the German synodal (psycho)path. That is, WITHOUT detaching the “bigoted” compass, or the “rigid” rudder. That is, without enabling/detaching actual praxis from (reaffirmed, of course!) dogma. That is, without mutilating the coherence of Faith and Reason, e.g., Veritatis Splendor.

      Yes, to Fraternity as Additive Compromise(!): but in our “walking together” in synodality, how to both walk AND steadfastly chew gum at the same time?

  3. I pray that the Pope’s call for special prayers, including the Lord’s Prayer, will be heeded by Catholics all over the world. I have no doubt that our Pope will lead us in this wonderful spiritual exercise. It is obvious that Pope Francis spends a lot of time praying.

  4. One condition for many Indulgences is prayer for the pope’s intentions. In days of yore, The Vatican’s Congregation of Indulgences and Sacred Rites (no longer extant, its functions are now performed by the Apostolic Penitentiary) published in its “Roccolta” four specific intentions of the pope:

    1) The progress of the faith and triumph of the Church.
    2) Peace and union among Christian princes and rulers.
    3) The conversion of sinners.
    4) The uprooting of heresy.

    The ‘Magisterium of Francis’ holds large soft spots for many of the above. Does it still agree with the list or does it direct yet another traditional teaching to the dustbin?

    An author at onepeterfive: “The Church cannot enjoin us to do evil. Yet for centuries, she has enjoined us in many magisterial teachings to make a blanket prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father in order to obtain a plenary indulgence. It follows that making such a blanket prayer cannot be a material contribution to evil on our part.”

  5. To tell the truth, I have no doubts that this “great symphony of prayer” ahead of the Jubilee Year in 2025 has a huge importance both for people and for church because it is truly a great event which will help us to get closer to God and grow richer spiritually. I think that it is really important not to neglect such events because, from my point of view, they have a Immense value, remembering people about really significant things. I totally share the position of Pope Francis because I think that primarily we need to create cohesion with each other and feel this support from each other because only these things will help us to change this deplorable state of affairs. I really hope that the 2025 Jubilee would truly help to restore “a climate of hope and trust” in such a current difficult situation because we all want to keep these wonderful feelings in our souls which can heal us and help us cope with all difficulties.

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