HAPPY ONOMASTICO TO BENEDICT XVI – POPE FRANCIS DID NOT ACCEPT FRENCH CARDINAL’S RESIGNATION – BAMBIN GESU HOSPITAL MARKS 150 YEARS!

It has been said that the ways of the Lord are mysterious and I think today we can say the ways of the Church are also mysterious. Pope Francis, at 10 am yesterday, met with French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon who was found guilty by a French court of covering up sex abuse accusations against a French priest. The cardinal had announced he would come to Rome to offer the Pope his resignation.

He offered that resignation yesterday morning. This afternoon, at 2:30 pm local time, the Holy See finally let us know what happened 28 hours earlier.

HAPPY ONOMASTICO TO BENEDICT XVI

Today, March 19 is the solemnity of St. Joseph and a Vatican holiday. In Italy, this beautiful feast is Father’s Day!

And today is also the onomastico or name day of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. Auguri, Santo Padre! Check out this panorama of photos of Pope Benedict: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-03/pope-benedict-vi-name-day-march-19.html

BEMEDICT XVI

POPE FRANCIS DID NOT ACCEPT FRENCH CARDINAL’S RESIGNATION

Responding to journalists’ questions, the interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, stated the following today about yesterday’s meeting between Pope Francis and Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France:

“I can confirm that the Holy Father did not accept the resignation presented by Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon. Aware, however, of the difficulties the archdiocese is experiencing at this time, the Holy Father left Cardinal Barbarin free to make the best decision for the diocese, and Cardinal Barbarin has decided to retire for a period of time and has asked Fr. Yves Baumgarten, vicar general, to assume the leadership of the diocese.

“The Holy See is keen to reiterate its closeness to the victims of abuse, to the faithful of the archdiocese of Lyon and of the whole Church of France who are experiencing a particularly painful time.”

BAMBIN GESU HOSPITAL MARKS 150 YEARS!

Rome’s Bambin Gesu – Child Jesus – pediatric hospital celebrated its 150 years with a big ceremony this morning in the presence of Italian president Sergio Mattarella and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, to name but a few of the dignitaries present.

Bambin Gesu is on Janiculum Hill, about a 10-minute walk from St. Peter’s Square and Vatican City State. According to its website – which boasts “Welcome to a hospital
 unlike any other” – Bambin Gesu is the largest pediatric hospital and research center in Europe, with a staff of almost 3,300 including physicians, researchers, nurses, clinical technicians and office staff.

Bambin Gesu was founded in 1869 by the Salviati family – a family aware of the needs of less fortunate children – and began quite simply as a room with four beds.

Today, this sprawling complex provides over 1.9 million healthcare services each year to children and adolescents from all over the world. Known as the hospital for children and the hospital of the Pope, its slogan is “You think about your child, we’ll think about everything else.” The hospital is owned by the Holy See.

The website also explains that “The moral principles and ethical values of the Catholic faith that inspired its creation ensure its continuing development.”

You might remember that in July 2017 Bambin Gesu hospital offered to receive British infant Charlie Gard when the English hospital where he was a patient decided to suspend the child’s treatment for mitochondrial depletion syndrome.

At the time, according to ANSA news, Mariella Enoc, president of Rome’s Bambino Gesù children’s hospital, said that Charlie Gard’s therapy would not have been suspended if he had been at the Vatican-owned structure. “I don’t know why the English hospital decided to suspend the child’s treatments,” Enoc told a news conference. “I know that here with us this would not have happened… I don’t know if it would have been possible to save Charlie, but I do know that lots of time was wasted in legal debates that served for nothing.”
The hospital had offered to help Gard’s mother Connie Yates and her husband Chris Gard after Pope Francis said treatment should be provided “until the end.”

(FYI: http://www.ospedalebambinogesu.it/en/chi-siamo#.XJD3ffZFxlY)

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AN ADDRESS FOR CARDINAL PELL – CELEBRATING AN IRISH SAINT IN ITALY – CARDINAL DINARDO HOSPITALIZED AFTER MILD STROKE

Pope Francis this morning at 10 received Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, found guilty by a French court of covering up sex abuse accusations against a French priest. The cardinal was expected to offer his resignation to the Holy Father but no news has come out from the Vatican as I write (5 pm Rome time). The court had sentenced the cardinal to a six-month suspended prison sentence.

AN ADDRESS FOR CARDINAL PELL

Many people wrote to me via email and Facebook in recent weeks, asking me to find a way to pass on their prayers, support and encouragement to Cardinal Pell, currently in prison in Melbourne. I did send an email message containing those sentiments and know that the person I wrote to delivered those messages to the cardinal.

There is now a street address. For those interested in sending a letter to Cardinal Pell, you may write him here:

Cardinal George Pell
Melbourne Assessment Prison
317-353 Spencer Street
West Melbourne VIC 3003
Australia

CELEBRATING AN IRISH SAINT IN ITALY

It was a memorable day Sunday, March 17 for the American, Irish and English-speaking Catholic community in Rome as we celebrated St. Patrick at the American parish of of the same name. It was almost standing room only at the 10:30 Mass celebrated by Bishop Brian Farrell of the Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The Irish ambassador to Italy, Irish ambassador to the Holy See and U.S. ambassador to the Holy See were present as was the wonderful Voci Ladies Choir of Waterford, Ireland. Several dozen priests concelebrated and there were seminarians from the Irish College who brought shamrocks – blessed at the start of Mass – for everyone! The color green definitely dominated among the worshippers!

I was a lector and also read the Prayers of the Faithful and did not busy myself taking photos but you can find some here (FYI, the scarves of the choir were an emerald green, even though they seem blue in the photos): https://www.facebook.com/cacrome/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARDEslErElhY-mhx86OXw5xCLdIY4Yz9VmiahbdpJY-JHEZQPwCiAvY-ugj6KGY_ZnqNSXG8uoJvXiyA

Our website is: https://stpatricksamericanrome.org/

CARDINAL DINARDO HOSPITALIZED AFTER MILD STROKE

US Cardinal DiNardo was taken to a hospital in Houston, Texas on Friday night after experiencing the symptoms of what tests on Saturday confirmed was a mild stroke.

According to a statement by the Archdiocese, “the Cardinal is resting comfortably and conversing with associates, doctors and nurses. It is expected that Cardinal DiNardo will remain hospitalized for a few more days of testing and observation, followed by a transfer to another facility for rehabilitation. He is grateful to the doctors and nurses for their wonderful care and for continued prayers during his recovery. Cardinal DiNardo said, “With so much to do, I am looking forward to getting back to work as soon as possible.”

Cardinal DiNardo was recently in Rome attending the “Protection of Minors in the Church” meeting in the Vatican as head of the USCCB. The Cardinal was also a delegate at the month long Synod on young people in October last year.