Recent papal tweets:
January 29: Lord, God of peace, hear our prayer and grant us peace in the Holy Land. Shalom, salaam, peace!
January 30: Nothing is impossible if we turn to God in prayer. We can all be builders of peace.
January 31: Let us imitate the attitude of Jesus toward the sick: he takes care of everyone, He shares their suffering and opens their hearts to hope
I am back in Rome after 13 days in Washington, D.C. and I’ll have to dedicate considerable quiet time to meditating on the historic events I attended, thne many new people I met, the longtime friends with whom I shared meals and the many friends whom I did not see for sheer lack of time. How does one “lack time” over a period of 13 days! Had I only had the time each day to write about it, you’d understand!
When I visited my Facebook page after arriving Rome today, I saw that what I thought I had posted on FB from the plane last night as we awaited departure did not in fact appear on my page – I guess airport wifi was not working as I thought. I had taken a photo and wrote the brief post on my US cell phone but was unable to retrieve that today – no big deal.
It is 8:30 pm. I’ve unpacked, I’ve spent considerable time at my desk checking emails and working on a column for today and another for tomorrow and now I’m ready to make dinner and retire early.
Today was a quiet day, publicly at least, for Pope Francis but yesterday he met with the bishops of Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, who are in Rome for their “ad limina apostolorum” visit, in addition to expresing his condolences for victims of the terror attacks in Quebec. Following are reports on the Quebec attacks:
PAPAL CONDOLENCES FOR QUEBEC MOSQUE KILLINGS
Monday, following morning Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Gérald Cyprien LaCroix, assuring the archbishop of Quebec City of his prayers for the victims of the attack on a mosque there on Sunday night. (photo: news.va)
Pope Francis stressed the importance for all, Christians and Muslims, to be united in prayer. Following his meeting with the Pope, Cardinal Lacroix returned immediately to Canada.
The Holy Father also formally expressed his condolences for the victims of the terrorist attack in a telegram addressed to Cardinal Lacroix, and signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The full English translation of the telegram, originally written in French, follows::
Most Eminent Cardinal Gérald Cyprien LaCroix
Having learned of the attack which occurred in Quebec in a prayer room of the Islamic Cultural Centre, which claimed many victims, His Holiness Pope Francis entrusts to the mercy of God the persons who lost their lives and he associates himself through prayer with the pain of their relatives. He expresses his profound sympathy for the wounded and their families, and to all who contributed to their aid, asking the Lord to bring them comfort and consolation in the ordeal. The Holy Father again strongly condemns the violence that engenders such suffering; and, imploring God for the gift of mutual respect and peace, he invokes upon the sorely tried families, and upon all persons touched by this tragedy, as well as upon all Quebecers, the benefits of the divine Blessing.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State of His Holiness
VATICAN COUNCIL CONDEMNS ATTACK ON MOSQUE
The Vatican’s Council for Interreligious Dialogue has strongly condemned the shooting at a mosque in Canada in which six people were killed and another dozen wounded.
More than fifty people were gathered for evening prayers at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on Sunday night when the attack took place. Police have arrested two suspects in connection with the shooting, which Canadian authorities have described as a terror attack.
In a statement on Monday, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue expressed great sadness and indignation at what it called “this senseless gesture.” Such “inconceivable violence,” the statement says, violates both “the sacredness of human life” as well as the respect due to a community at prayer and its place of worship.
The Vatican statement also expresses solidarity with all Canadian Muslims, assuring them of fervent prayers for the victims and their families.
Pope Francis also sent a message of condolences to all those affected by the attack, asking God to bring comfort and consolation to the wounded and bereaved. His words came in a telegramme addressed to Canadian Cardinal Gerald Lacroix, in which the Pope also condemns such violence and suffering.
Pope Francis was able to offer words of sympathy in person to the cardinal, who was in Rome and attended Mass on Monday at the Casa Santa Marta, before cutting short his visit and returning to Quebec City. (from Vatican Radio)