During Ash Wednesday Holy Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, Fr. John Paul along with hundreds of other priest from around the world selected by their Bishop, were installed by Pope Francis as a Missionaries of Mercy. These Missionaries of Mercy are priests who, during the Jubilee of Mercy, will be given the faculties to pardon sins in cases otherwise reserved to the Holy See including:
- Desecration of the Holy Eucharist
- Physical violence against the Holy Father
- Bishop who consecrates another bishop without a mandate from the Holy Father
- Absolving an accomplice of the Sixth Commandment (adultery)
- Violating the seal of confession
According to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the Missionaries are to be:
- a living sign of the Father’s welcome to all those in search of his forgiveness;
- facilitators for all, with no one excluded, of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles and taking up the new life of Baptism again;
- guided by the words, “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all;
- inspiring preachers of Mercy;
- heralds of the joy of forgiveness;
- welcoming, loving, and compassionate Confessors, who are most especially attentive to the difficult situations of each person.
Pope Francis expressed his keen desire for the relics of St. Padre Pio and St. Leopold Mandic to be exposed during the Feb. 10 Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Holy Father addressed the Missionaries of Mercy directly, telling them that their mandate is to be a sign and instrument of God’s forgiveness.
Congratulations Fr. John Paul!