VATICAN CITY (CNS)—God’s ability to forgive “knows no limits” as his mercy frees people from bitterness and despair, Pope Francis said.

“The church’s forgiveness must be every bit as broad as that offered by Jesus on the cross and by Mary at his feet. There is no other way,” he said after opening the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Mary Major Jan. 1, the feast of Mary, Mother of God, and the World Day of Prayer for Peace.

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