Vatican City. On December 8, the Holy Year 2015–16 was
inaugurated, which the Pope unexpectedly proclaimed during
the spring. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the solemn dedication took place by Pope Francis
opening the holy golden gate of St. Peter's Basilica, which
is normally walled. The Jubilee year opened on the day 50
years after the end of the Second Vatican Council.
During the year, a scandal broke in the Vatican which
became a reminder that Francis is also head of state. Five
people were brought to trial during the fall for having
leaked and published secret documents from the papal
administration. The leaked documents were the basis of two
books in Italy that reveal the greed that characterizes the
Vatican's higher strata. This is where Cardinal Tarcisio
Bertone stands out, who in order to renovate the luxury
apartment he received at his retirement, used money from a
fund that really belonged to a Catholic children's hospital.
In 2015, the Pope traveled to the United States, Latin
America and Africa. His visit to Cuba was particularly
commendable, as it was Francis who mediated in the long
negotiations that led to the icing between the US and Cuba.
During the African travel, the visit to the war-torn Central
African Republic became the most prominent.
In the fall, the Pope convened a bishopric in Rome
dedicated to addressing the Church's relationship with
Catholic families around the world. Nearly 300 bishops from
120 countries gathered in Rome to share the pope's views on
sexual morality and family issues. The meeting, which is not
decisive, gave the liberal forces a certain feeling that
progress had been made, while the Conservatives could at the
same time be calm in the assurance that none of the church's
dogmas is in danger.
In addition to the bishop's meeting, the pope made a
couple of personal decisions during the year in the area of
family life. Without tapping into the Church's doctrine,
which does not recognize divorce, Francis has made it easier
for Catholics to cancel a marriage. A cancellation may come
about if the Church leadership in Rome finds that the
marriage was invalid from the beginning. During the year,
Francis also gave the parish priests permission to forgive
women who have had an abortion if the woman expresses her
regret during the holy year of jubilee.