Explaining the Holy Doors

The opening of the Holy Door at the St. Peter’s Basilica is an important part of Holy Years. The tradition was started by Pope Martin V in 1423, when he opened the Holy Door at the Basilica of St. John Lateran to decree the Jubilee year, and it is a tradition that has continued since.

The Holy Door in Rome will be opened by Pope Francis on Dec. 8, marking the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. When the Holy Door is opened, the Holy Father strikes it three times with a silver hammer, each strike representing a Scriptural “strike” such as Moses striking the rock and the Roman soldier striking Christ in the side with a spear. With these strikes, grace flowed forth, usually in the form of water, and in keeping with the symbology, the striking of the door symbolizes the releases of grace, flowing to the faithful.

Making a pilgrimage to the Holy Door is also a key piece of Jubilee years. It evokes the passage in the Gospel of John when Christ said, “I am the door,” (Jn 10:9). Traditionally, the faithful would make a pilgrimage to Rome to pass through the Holy Door. Passing through the Holy Door is symbolic of leaving this world and entering into God’s presence, and also of the removal of obstacles from clear passage to the Lord. St. John Paul II said that the Holy Door “…evokes the passage from sin to grace which every Christian is called to accomplish,” and during the Extraordinary Jubilee, Catholics are called to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Door to do just this.

Rome is a bit far away for Denver-based Catholics to travel to (not to mention really pricey), but luckily, the Holy Father gave bishops around the world the power to designate Holy Doors in their own diocese for the faithful to make pilgrimages to. Archbishop Aquila has designated five Holy Doors to be opened on Dec. 13 in the Archdiocese of Denver, listed on the below map.

As an incentive to visit the Holy Doors, special postcards will be given at each of the five locations to collect uniquely-designed stamps, with a sixth stamp being offered at the Mercy Chose Me conference on Jan. 23 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Northglenn. If you collect them all, you can submit your completed postcard for a chance to win a beautiful Jubilee Year of Mercy icon.

DC_11-28-15.indd1. St. Stephen Catholic Church
1885 Blake Ave.
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

2. Mother Cabrini Shrine
20189 Cabrini Blvd.
Golden, CO 80401

3. Our Lady of Guadalupe
1209 W. 36th Ave.
Denver, CO 80211

4. Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
1530 Logan St.
Denver, CO 80203

5. St. Anthony’s Catholic Church
326 S. 3rd St.
Sterling, CO 80751

COMING UP: Colorado bishops issue letter on the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life Congressional policies

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We, the Catholic bishops of Colorado, urge Congressional Representatives to support the Hyde Amendment and the Walden Amendment. We also ask the Faithful to sign The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) petition to lawmakers encouraging them to preserve the Hyde Amendment, which can be accessed at: NoTaxpayerAbortion.com, and to contact their Congressmen and women to support the Hyde and Walden amendments.

The House Appropriations Labor and Health and Human Services subcommittee recently passed a spending bill that strips protections for pre-born children, healthcare providers,and American taxpayers by excluding pro-life provisions, including the Hyde and Weldon amendments.

The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion in most cases, except for rape and incest, has received bipartisan support since its inception in 1976 – including by pro-abortion administrations. Hyde is critical in saving lives. The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that approximately 60,000 pre-born babies are saved every year because of the Hyde Amendment.[1] This is the first time in 40 years that the Hyde Amendment was not included in the annual appropriations bill[2] and failure to include pro-life amendments will only further increase divisions in our country.

The Weldon Amendment prevents any federal programs, agencies, and state and local governments from discriminating against health care practitioners and institutions that do not provide abortion services. It ensures that pro-life individuals and organizations can enter the health care profession without fearing that the government will force them to perform a procedure that violates their well-founded convictions. It has also received bipartisan support and was added to the appropriations bill every year since it was first enacted in 2005. [3]

Congress’ recent actions endanger the lives of pre-born children and infringe on the rights of millions of Americans who do not wish to participate in the moral evil of abortion. A recent Knights of Columbus/Marist poll found that 58 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions[4] and a 2019 Gallup poll shows that 60 percent of Americans think abortion should either be illegal or only legal in a few circumstances.[5]

The government should neither use taxpayer funds for the killing of pre-born children nor compel medical practitioners and institutions to violate their well-founded convictions. Congress must uphold these long-standing, common-sense bipartisan policies that promote a culture of life in our nation.

Human reason and science affirm that human life begins at conception. The Church objects to abortion on the moral principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with respect due to every human person. There has never been and never will be a legitimate need to abort a baby in the womb.

It is critical that Congress continue its long-history of supporting policies such as the Hyde and Walden amendments, and that all Colorado Catholics and people of good will make their voice heard in supporting these life-affirming policies.

Sign the petition to Congress here: www.NoTaxpayerAbortion.com

Contact your Congressional Representatives here: https://cocatholicconference.org/news/

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo

Most Reverend James R. Golka
Bishop of Colorado Springs

Most Reverend Jorge Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver