Pope Francis opens doors to ‘Year of Mercy’ in a time of fear

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Pope Francis embraces Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI before opening the Holy Door to mark opening of the Catholic Holy Year, or Jubilee, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, on December 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-TWO-POPES, originally transmitted on May 27, 2016, or RNS-POPE-HOLYYEAR, originally transmitted on Dec. 8, 2015.

Pope Francis embraces Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI before opening the Holy Door to mark opening of the Catholic Holy Year, or Jubilee, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, on December 8, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-TWO-POPES, originally transmitted on May 27, 2016, or RNS-POPE-HOLYYEAR, originally transmitted on Dec. 8, 2015.

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(RNS) Tens of thousands of pilgrims underwent tight security checks, including metal detectors, in order to attend the ceremony.