December 2, 2015 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:
Since the Second Vatican Council, the Popes have never shied away from proclaiming the Doctrine of Mercy. Beginning with Pope John XXIII, who on October 11, 1962, during the opening address of the Second Vatican Council, said, “The Church prefers the medicine of Mercy rather than that of severity: ‘Today, however, Christ’s Bride prefers the balm of mercy to the arm of severity. She believes that present needs are best served by explaining more fully the purport of her doctrines, rather than by publishing condemnations.’”
Pope Paul VI, who concluded the Second Vatican Council, spoke about mercy in his first Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Nutiandi, Announcing the Gospel, on December 8, 1975, when he said, “This kingdom and this salvation, which are the key words of Jesus Christ’s evangelization, are available to every human being as grace and mercy, and yet at the same time each individual must gain them by force – they belong to the violent, says the Lord.”
Saint John Paul II, in his Encyclical, Rich in Mercy, Dives in Misericordia, makes it abundantly clear that the “Mercy of God is key to understanding our relationship to him.” He tells us that it is God who is rich in mercy. Jesus Christ reveals the Father to us, and as the Son, He manifests the Father and makes Him known to us.
Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.