Although the thought of standing with throngs of people for hours at a time seems foreign now in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it was something tens of thousands of Catholics were happy to do in Washington, New York and Philadelphia when Pope Francis made his visit to the United States five years ago.
During a meeting Sept. 19 with the heads of the Spanish bishops’ conference, Pope Francis expressed concern over a measure to legalize euthanasia soon to be discussed by Spain’s Senate.
Pope Francis told a group of parents of LGBT children Sept.16 that God loves them as they are, and that the Church loves them because they are “children of God.” The pontiff’s words came during a short, private encounter with some 40 Italian mothers and fathers of LGBT children that took place following his Sept.16 general audience.
Top officials from both China and the Vatican have given indications that the controversial agreement between the two on the appointment of bishops, which expires at the end of September, will be renewed.
On Sept.13, Pope Francis addressed the wave of protests that have swept through the globe this summer, some of which have turned violent, issuing an appeal for peaceful demonstrations and for those fueled by hate to let go and move toward forgiveness and reconciliation.
Calling it “necessary and urgent” to return to public Masses as soon as anti-COVID 19 measures permit, the Vatican’s top official for liturgy has urged Catholic bishops around the world not to let religious worship be relegated to a priority level below “recreational activities” or treated as just another public gathering.
Pope Francis will travel to Assisi Oct. 3 to sign an encyclical on the social, political and economic obligations that flow from a belief that all people are children of God and therefore brothers and sisters to one another.
When it comes to the private notes of a pontiff, the world usually has to wait until they’ve died to have access to them, but Pope Francis this week made some of his personal notes public.
Pope Francis’s newest book, “Let Us Dream,” will look at life during the time of this global crisis, and explore what this moment in history can teach people about how to approach and address upheaval in our own lives.
For history’s first pope named for Francis of Assisi, the saint’s Oct. 4 feast is bound to be a big deal, and this year is no exception, as several major Vatican events are already on the calendar.