When I wrote my article comparing the Year of Mercy to the movie Dogma, I honestly didn’t think that my analysis would be proven right. But alas, it has been.
The Year of Mercy if anything is a parody of the Catholic Church, in which everybody is going to get mercy whether they like it or not. I had heard rumblings about a “travelling door of mercy”, but when I wrote the article, I couldn’t find anything. It was almost as if all traces of it had disappeared from the internet.
Over at the Catholic Herald, we read that Portable Doors of Mercy are on the road!
The Bishop of Wrexham says it allows the sick and less mobile to experience God’s mercy
Doors of Mercy have become a familiar sight during the Holy Year, present in every cathedral and in many churches in Britain and around the world, through which Catholics can pass to gain an indulgence.
But the Diocese of Wrexham has gone one further, with a portable Door of Mercy to travel the diocese.
Bishop Peter Brignall of Wrexham said the portable Door of Mercy makes the indulgence available to those who can’t travel.
“The Portable Door of Mercy provides that opportunity for those who might not be able to go on pilgrimage to the cathedral of our diocese and pass through the door,” said Bishop Brignall.
“It allows for those who are less able and who are sick to pass through and receive the Mercy of the Father.”
The door is being transferred to different deaneries around the diocese on each Saturday in Lent.
During the Year of Mercy, Catholics can gain an indulgence by passing through a Holy Door, receiving the Eucharist and going to Confession, and praying for the Pope’s intentions.
In a statement, the Diocese of Wrexham said: “The diocese has an ageing population and many would be unable to make the journey to the cathedral – this initiative of Bishop Peter’s extends God’s mercy to all in bringing the door directly to the people.
“Last weekend, the portable Door of Mercy was taken to the parish of Buckley, Flintshire, where many hundreds of people from all over North Wales attended “24 hours for the Lord”, where priests of the diocese were stationed to hear confessions throughout that period.”
This weekend the door will be taken to Our Lady of Sorrows, Dolgellau. On Saturday 19, the Feast of St Joseph, it will be taken to St Joseph, Denbigh.
Pope Francis began the Jubilee Year of Mercy by opening a Holy Door at St Peter’s Basilica on December 8 last year. The Year of Mercy ends on November 20.
“God’s judgment will always be in the light of His mercy,” the Pope said. “In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love.”
First and foremost, there are plenty of ways a person can receive a plenary indulgence without the need to go through the mercy doors! There is no reason at all for traveling mercy doors.
Second, you can receive the “Mercy of the Father” by going to confession and confessing your sins. You can’t receive a plenary indulgence by just performing some action.There are specific actions you must also perform to gain the indulgence. Those actions are:
- Complete detachment from sin of any kind, including venial sin.
- You must perform the work or the prayer attached to the indulgence (in this case, walking through the Mercy Door).
- Go to confession and confess all sins.
- Receive Holy Communion worthily.
- Praying for the intentions of the Pope.
The Year of Mercy weakens the notion of plenary indulgences because mention of these conditions is few and far between. Catholic and non-Catholics alike are left with the impression that all one must do to gain the plenary indulgence is to walk through these mercy doors. This article happens to mention the actions, but not until seven paragraphs in, long enough in where the reader has likely stopped reading and is now left with the false impression. If an individual does not perform the works necessary for a plenary indulgence, they are left with only a partial indulgence, yet they are left to believe they have been forgiven all temporal punishment for their sins.
Third, all of this talk about passing through these doors and making them more accessible so that the person can feel God’s mercy is a hallmark of Modernism, in which a person’s faith is only as strong as their emotional connection with it. If a person feels that what they are doing brings them closer to God, then who are you to judge if it is correct or not?
It is sad that we live in a time where those running the Church mock it. As I wrote in the other article, indulgences are a beautiful and wonderful gift from God to show his love for us. It is too bad that mercy has been redefined not to mean what it means. According to Pope Francis, one must only walk into a confessional to be forgiven, without the need to confess their sins.
Pray that God sends His mercy upon this Church and either convert this Pope or sends us another. It will be a miracle if there is any Catholicism left in the Church when Francis is through.