Fifty years from now, Italians now alive probably will still smile whenever someone mentions the summer of 2021, what’s now being described as the greatest summer in the history of Italian sports, its “Summer of Gold.”
When Pope Francis’ eco-encyclical was published in 2015, one aspect of the document that didn’t make waves but was key to implementing his overall vision for environmental reform was his appeal to cleanup cities, making them more organized and sustainable. Now, six years later, this is being implemented in his own backyard.
One Italian bishop has said Pope Francis’ push for greater brotherhood and solidarity is needed more than ever following the death last week of 130 migrants who for two days issued distress calls to no avail when their boat met trouble in the Mediterranean.
Several unplanned protests have broken out in Rome in recent days over coronavirus restrictions, and among the demonstrators have been some high-profile traditionalist Catholics.
Months ago, 11-year-old Romeo Cox in Italy secretly hatched a plan to somehow visit his grandmother Rosemary in England. Romeo and his granny hadn’t seen each other in a year and a half when the coronavirus pandemic struck. So, he repeatedly asked his parents if he could walk to see her because he missed her.
Since 2014, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have died while trying to reach Europe from Africa, while thousands of others have been forcibly returned to Libya, which has received funding from the EU to train its coastguard to try and stop the crossings.
Milvia Monachesi, who was elected mayor of Castel Gandolfo in 2012, said “for a moment” in 2013, “I thought I was the luckiest mayor in the world: I would have two popes.”
The Pontifical Academy has promoted a conference to officially launch the Department of Analysis and Study of Criminal and Mafia Phenomena. The scope of the interdisciplinary body is to stop the influence of the underworld on religious events and places dedicated to the Virgin, including the “detours” taken by some Marian processions in southern Italy to salute mafia bosses under house arrest.
While Catholics in Italy are enthusiastic about finally being able to attend Mass after a two months hiatus due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, there are several other areas of ecclesial life that are still on hold.
Yesterday, my wife and I did something we, along with most people in Rome, haven’t been able to do since March 8: We went to Mass. (We also went out to lunch for the first time in two months and 10 days, enjoying a gorgeous Roman spring day and a fine meal, but that’s a story for another time.)