Pope Francis held his yearly penitential service at St. Peter’s Basilica on March 17. In it, he urged confessors to go to the peripheries of evil and sin, despite it being, at times, “ugly;” nonetheless, the priest is called to go “and his work represents an authentic pastoral priority.”
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., in a recent interview in America Magazine concerning Pope Francis, comments:
Last week, President Donald J. Trump visited St. Andrew’s Catholic School in the Diocese of Orlando, Fla. Accompanying him were Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Governor Rick Scott. During his visit, the president told Bishop John Noonan, Orlando’s Ordinary, “You understand how much your students benefit from full education, one that enriches both the mind and the soul. That’s a good combination.”
One of the great Roman traditions is the Station Church Masses each day during Lent. Coming out of the traditional Mass calendar, those of the North American College, the priests of the Casa Santa Maria and the seminarians on the Gianicolo go each day to a different Roman church as a pilgrimage early in the morning for Mass at 7 a.m. Each day, many other English speakers in the city who make this a major part of their Lenten experience join at the Station churches.
President Donald Trump tweeted The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”
The past two Fridays have seen media attacks launched on Pope Francis in Rome. First, a series of posters were placed (illegally, without any permission) on billboards with a rather unflattering picture of the Holy Father with the following message in Italian (in the local Roman dialect): “Eh, Francis, you’ve commissioned Congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, you’ve ignored cardinals … but where’s your mercy?”
There seems to be a general lack of tolerance on both sides of the political spectrum. Tempers flare and emotions take hold, and words come out, harsh words that have repercussions in our lives and the lives of others.
Through Catholic news sources like the Jesuit-run America Magazine, there are reports that Pope Francis has decided to create a mixed commission to study Liturgicam Authenticam, the decree that called for all translations of liturgical texts to use the principle of formal equivalence. Formal equivalence differs from dynamic equivalence, which seeks to communicate more of the meaning of the text, rather than a direct translation or transliteration. Dynamic equivalence was the principle of translation used for liturgical texts for many years immediately following the Second Vatican Council.
We, as a Church, with our Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters and with our separated brethren in other Christian ecclesial communions and denominations, have just celebrated, once again, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We prayed in a special way that the Lord’s command from the Gospel of John might truly be realized: “Ut Unum Sint,” “that they may be one.”
Twitter is perhaps the most important means of social communications that we have today. And at the same time, it can be very dangerous.