POPE FRANCIS: “THE EARTH IS GOD’S HOME, WE STAND ON HOLY GROUND”
Pope Francis dedicated the entire catechesis of today’s general audience to the April 22nd 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The press office published the original Italian-language text as well as the complete English translation. There were also summaries of the Earth Day catechesis in the usual languages of French, English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Polish.
Pope Francis began the audience that took place in the library of the Apostolic Palace by noting that, “Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. This is an opportunity for renewing our commitment to caring for our common home. We are called to cherish creation and all life within it, for the natural world is the ‘Gospel of Creation’, not a set of resources for us to exploit.”
He explained that, “To overcome our selfishness and rediscover a sacred respect for the earth, we need a new way of seeing – an ecological conversion – for the earth is also God’s home and we stand on holy ground. We can only be authentic custodians of the earth, and overcome the challenges before us – such as the coronavirus pandemic – by acting in solidarity with one another.”
The Holy Father, speaking of his May 2015 encyclical letter, said “As Laudato Si’ reminds us, we are one interdependent human family and so need a common response to the threats we face (cf. 164). In this Easter season of renewal, as we strive to love more deeply our common home and all our brothers and sisters, especially those most in need, let us implore our Heavenly Father: ‘Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth’.”
FOR FULL ENGLISH TEXT: http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2020/04/22/0240/00522.html
POPE FRANCIS AND FRENCH PRESIDENT SPEAK ON PHONE
According to a vaticannews.va story, Pope Francis and French President Macron engaged in a telephone conversation focussed on the European Union’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the need for debt reduction in poor countries. The Holy See Press Office has said nothing about this but French President Emmanuel Macron’s communications office published the news.
Vatican news reported that Pope Francis took the opportunity to express his closeness and support to France where Covid-19 has claimed more than 20,000 lives during a telephone conversation with the French President. The president’s office said Pope Francis and President Emmanuel Macron spoke for about 45 minutes on Tuesday afternoon. It also said the Pope positively acknowledged “the constructive responses taken by France at the international level after the health crisis caused by the pandemic.”
VATICAN OFFICE HEADS MEET TO DISCUSS COVID19 PHASE 2
A Holy See Pfress Office communique today stated that, “This morning in the old Synod Hall, an extraordinary meeting took place chaired by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin in the presence of the heads of the dicasteries and entities of the Holy See. The aim of the meeting was to reflect on a second phase of Covid19 emergency that will begin next May. The Holy See’s efforts to deal with the crisis in a sustainable way were underlined. In addition, the gradual reactivation of ordinary services was decided, while safeguarding the health precautions to limit contagion, so as to ensure service to the Holy Father and to the Universal Church.”
CARDINAL FARRELL: WE ARE ONE FAMILY
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, speaks about the decision to postpone the World Meeting of Families and World Youth Day, and about the lessons we can learn during these difficult times.
By Vatican News
Cardinal Kevin Farrell said that the decision to postpone two major ecclesial events was made out of prudence, and concern for the safety of the millions of people who are expected to take part.
The Vatican on Monday announced that the World Meeting of Families (WMF), set to take place in Rome in June 2021; and the next World Youth Day (WYD), scheduled for August 2022 in Lisbon, would both be pushed back a year, to 2022 and 2023 respectively.
Prudence and safety
In an interview with Vatican News, Cardinal Farrell explained that the organizational, logistical, and economic aspects of planning such events were important factors in the decision to postpone the events. Normally, planning for major international events of this kind takes place a year or more in advance. In these times, the Cardinal explained, “it would be imprudent of us to make that decision now, because we do not know exactly what the situation of our world will be as this pandemic comes to an end”.
He also expressed sympathy for people making plans for their families. Both the WMF and WYD draw large crowds from all over the world. It would be unreasonable to make plans for one’s family so soon after a major epidemic. Safety concerns are important too, Cardinal Farrell said: “It’s just not prudent” to have very large gatherings of people “until we know they are going to be safe”.
What we can learn
Cardinal Farrell focused on the importance of families, especially during a period when so many people are “locked down”. The family, he said, “is the most essential aspect of our social life. It is the basis of all social life”.
With so many people living closely together because of necessary health restrictions, families are learning how to care for each other more than ever before, Cardinal Farrell said. It is precisely in family life, that we learn how to value others and to care for them. He said he prays that this might be “one of the aspects” of the coronavirus emergency “that will most affect us”.
“We are one family”
The Cardinal said he believes the world will become “a smaller place” because we are learning that our lives are all interconnected. The Covid-19 emergency has affected every corner of the world, “which shows that the human race, we are all one family”. He said he hopes that “the greatest lesson we would all learn in this experience is precisely that: We are one family”.