Pope Francis accepted the resignations of 75-year-old Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, and 77-year-old Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica and vicar for Vatican City State.
As a last resort, the Vatican may sanction employees who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine for non-medical reasons, according to a new Vatican decree.
After the “massacre of the elderly” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vatican is calling for the world to re-think the way it cares for old people.
Pope Francis said Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic shows there are parts of the world that are “seriously ill,” not as a result of the virus but in its natural environment, its economic and political processes, and even more so in in its human relationships.
Xaviere Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart will not be the first woman undersecretary of a major Vatican office, but she will be the first woman with a right to vote at a meeting of the Synod of Bishops.
Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, who leads the council of cardinals that advises Pope Francis on the reform of the Catholic Church’s central government, was hospitalized after presenting COVID-19 symptoms.
In line with papal tradition, Pope Francis relayed well wishes and messages of hope and prayer to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. Biden is the second Catholic president, following John F. Kennedy, who was elected as the United States’s 35th president in Nov. 1960.
Among the many traditions surrounding a presidential inauguration, Catholics seem to have created one of their own, especially when it’s a Democrat: Mixed messages from the Vatican and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Australian Cardinal George Pell, formerly the Vatican’s top official on financial affairs, said he believes the pope’s recent reforms signal progress, and called for additional competent laypeople to be involved in the process.
Both Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI have received the first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 after the Vatican started vaccinating its employees and residents Jan. 13.