Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pope Francis inaugurates special Year of Mercy at the Vatican amid fears of terrorism

By Nick Squires
Pope Francis opens the Holy Door to mark opening of the Catholic Holy Year, or Jubilee, in St Peter's basilica at the Vatican Photo: Max Rossi/Reuters
VATICAN CITY---Pope Francis inaugurated a special year of Mercy at the Vatican on Tuesday but fears of terrorism meant that the crowds in St Peter’s Square were much more modest than expected. The Vatican had hoped that up to 100,000 people would take part in an open-air Mass in the huge Renaissance piazza, but in the end an estimated 40,000 people attended. The poll, by a national tourism organisation called Confturismo, found that a third of Italians were now afraid to travel abroad and the same proportion feared Italy was a target for terrorism. [link]