Pope Francis said atrocities from the past have to be recognized for true reconciliation and healing to come to the world.
Declaring the upcoming jubilee, Pope Francis powerfully calls on the Catholic church to refashion as a place not of judgment but of pardon.
Celebrating the first vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis formally will deliver the "bull of indiction" or proclamation of the extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy.
Portions of the document will be read Saturday in front of the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican announced. The Holy Door, usually bricked up, is opened at the beginning of a jubilee year.
The Holy Year of Mercy is scheduled for Dec. 8, 2015, to Nov. 20, 2016.
Pope Francis called on the Catholic bishops of Armenia, who are marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide this month, not to retreat in a pastoral commitment to help their people "read reality with new eyes" and to live the hope of resurrection amid their suffering.
Meeting with bishops of the Patriarchal Synod of the Armenian-Catholic church Thursday, the pope also asked that God "hasten concrete gestures of reconciliation and peace among the nations that still fail to reach a reasonable consensus on the reading of these sad events."
"Jesus loved us, Jesus loves us, but without any limits, always, all the way to the end," Pope Francis said during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper.
In a key move toward greater financial transparency, the Holy See signed an agreement with Italy that includes the full exchange of financial information about Vatican employees, pensioners, foundations and religious institutes that are subject to Italian taxes.
People and entities that reside in Italy were expected to be liable for Italian taxes on any interest or earnings coming from bonds, investments and savings in Vatican institutions, according to a general outline of the agreement.
For a "good Easter," Christians must do more than simply recall the passion of Jesus during Holy Week; they must "enter into the mystery" of the Easter Triduum and make Jesus' feelings and attitudes their own, Pope Francis said.
Brazilian Archbishop Dom Hélder Câmara was a Latin American bishop known for radically calling on the church to stand with the poor.
The bishop of a southern Italian diocese has issued new directives aimed at keeping the mafia out of this year's Easter processions.
Commonly called "L'Affruntata" (the encounter), the popular and traditional Easter Sunday procession involves bringing together three statues -- one of Jesus, the apostle John and Mary, who is caped in a black robe. The Marian statue's black robe is removed at the end of the procession to symbolize her joy over Jesus' resurrection.
The Vatican said the bishop's candidature was "carefully examined" prior to his appointment but no "objective reasons" were found to preclude it.