>>>ANSA/ Vatican reacts to Jubilee row

'Risk of misunderstanding Pope Francis's spirit'

(by Nina Fabrizio) (ANSA) - Vatican City, March 17 - The Vatican has been watching disapprovingly the political polemics sparked by Pope Francis's announcement of a special Jubilee Year dedicated to mercy starting from December 8. While it is true that his announcement was mostly misunderstood and led to a planning at short notice to welcome in the large masses of pilgrims expected to arrive, the Vatican has shown surprise at the position-taking in the political arena around an event that the pope is said to have wanted purely at the spiritual level. "These discussions have nothing to do with us," the Vatican said about the heated debate between those who would like an ad hoc commission and those who instead believe that the event should be managed through existing structures. Estimated costs cited - anywhere between 400 million euros and one billion - have been called "exaggerated" considered too much given the fact that this Jubilee Year is meant to be mostly decentralized with initiatives in all dioceses and not only in Rome. Prudence is also shown in the outlook for number of pilgrims. Instead of comparing with the 2000 Jubilee - when around 25 million pilgrims came to Rome - the Vatican is for the time being looking at the recent Year of Faith, which brought around 8 million pilgrims to the city. ANSA has been told by well-informed sources that the fact that an event thought up by the pope exclusively in terms of "spiritual renewal" and that intends to deeply mark the papacy as one of mercy and welcoming can end up being a cause of political clashes over issues like money, works considered necessary and even contracts has been criticized. Since the first day after Pope Francis's announcement, the head of the next Jubilee - Monsignor Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization - told ANSA that the Vatican "is not interested in business. It expresses concrete signs of mercy". The Vatican has also repeated that the program is still in the initial phase. Only on April 12, when the papal bull is issued, will there be a definitive idea of plans for the Jubilee. At that time, the events connected with it will begin to be drawn up and organized in detail, and the Italy-Vatican collaboration will begin as bilateral committees. Rome mayor Ignazio Marino on Tuesday had an initial talk with Monsignor Fisichella ahead of an initial meeting and the Vatican is prepared to collaborate. The fact remains that the clash that broke out immediately after the papal announcement, raising fears that the Jubilee may end up being the latest, costly emergency. This interpretation does not correspond, however, to the spirit of poverty and sobriety of Pope Francis's papacy. http://popefrancisnewsapp.com/


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