Definition: The ceremony or sign that begins the year of Jubilee in the Catholic Church. The Pope (assisted by masons) takes a hammer and breaks open the holy door, symbolizing the availability of spiritual benefits that can accrue during the year of Jubilee. [According to tradition, Pope Sylvester (at the request of Constantine) offered sanctuary and immunity from punishment to anyone who crossed the threshold of the puerta tarpea at the Lateran]. After breaking open the door, the Pope is the first to go through, followed by the other celebrants. At the end of the Jubilee year, a closing ceremony is performed. The relics of Veronica and the Lance are publicly venerated, the bricks are blessed by the Pope, and the door is cemented shut. After the ceremony in 1975, a special bronze door was erected so that the breaking of the bricked door is no longer necessary for future jubilees.
Discussion: Jesus says that He is the door. Anyone who enters through Jesus is saved from their sin, and will have abundant and eternal life (Jn. 10:9-10). The Holy Door of the Catholic Church is another way that the Pope usurps the authority of Jesus, and denies the sufficiency of His atonement on the Cross.
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