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Holy Doors ‘to be opened in every cathedral in the world for the first time’

Pope Francis pushes open the Holy Doors at Bangui cathedral (Photo: AP)

For the Year of Mercy, a Holy Door will be opened in every Catholic cathedral in the world for the first time.

The doors will be opened a week on Sunday, on December 13, to coincide with the opening of the Holy Doors at the Cathedral of St John Lateran.

The detail was announced by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, at a press conference at the Vatican.

Pilgrims, he said, must register online in order to pass through the Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica. A four-page form is available here.

Other details that emerged from the press conference were:

– 800 priests have put themselves forward as ‘Missionaries of Mercy’.
– The Pope will perform a “symbolic gesture” of mercy once a month. On Friday December 18 he will open a “Door of Mercy” at a Caritas homeless hostel.
– The Rosary will be recited daily in St Peter’s Square in front of the statue of St Peter.

The opening of St Peter’s Holy Doors will happen on Tuesday (December 8).

The ceremony will, according to the Vatican Television Centre, be broadcast with greater clarity than any other papal event in history.

The CTV broadcaster said it had upgraded its equipment with ULTRA HD and 4K technology and will provide an “immersive” experience for viewers.

The celebration on Tuesday will also mark the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council.

It will begin with readings from taken from the four conciliar constitutions (Dei Verbum, Lumen gentium, Sacrosanctum concilium e Gaudium et spes) along with two passages taken from, Unitatis redintegratio on ecumenism and Dignitatis humanae on religious liberty.

Archbishop Fisichello’s full statement from the press conference is available here.