Adfero, "Vatican Secretary of State: Holy Year is open to Muslims!" (Rorate Caeli, November 16, 2015):
The Secretary of the Vatican State, Pietro Parolin, has confirmed that the Jubilee (from December 8th 2015 to November 20th 2016) is on schedule, as the spokesman for the Holy See, Padre Lombardi had already said, and that, in fact, will be open also to Muslims. “In a world torn by violence, it is the right time to launch the campaign of mercy” said the Cardinal in an interview with the French Catholic newspaper La Croix. “It is understandable that there are sentiments of revenge after the attacks, but we really need to resist them. The Pope wants the Jubilee to be used for people to meet each other, understand each other and rise above hate”, explains the Secretary of the Vatican State.Okay, I get that. It's possible that those who have lost loved ones to Muslim terrorists might turn the other cheek in a Christ-like manner and forgive those who perpetrated this horror in an overture intended to win them to Christ and conversion to Holy Mother Church. It's possible, if uncommon.
It's also possible that the Vatican could be inviting sinners to flee the wrath of God to come by turning in repentance to the God of all mercy who is willing to forgive the contrite sinner no matter what the sin or the crime. That's possible too, if not very obvious in anything said by the Vatican Secretary of State.
But is either of these things really the meaning of the Year of Mercy? I'm sorry to sound like a skeptic. But the language just sounds much more like a public policy initiative, an invitation to dialogue, to seek mutual understanding, to "rise above hate."
This is, of course, something perfectly desirable; but is this the essential meaning of God's mercy in Holy Scripture? I've just been reading in the Old Testament the account of how Moses had the Levites slay about three thousand of the Children of Israel who refused to repent after their idolatrous celebration around the image of a golden calf.
God did not appear too eager to simply let unrepentant rebels off the hook under the blanket invitation of mercy -- a detail notably confirmed by the fact that Moses immediately went back up Mt. Sinai to the Lord to try to make atonement for the sins of his people.
It seems that the Mercy of Holy Scripture comes at a considerable cost, an important detail nobody seems to eager to talk about publicly.
Then again, I could be wrong. Just my two cents.