Sunday, July 17, 12,000 faithful populated St. Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus with Pope Francis, standing close at times to the two fountains in the square to cool off from the sweltering heat that has enveloped Italy for many weeks.

After the Angelus, Francis asked for prayers, saying, “I’m about to make a penitential pilgrimage that I hope, with God’s grace, will contribute to the journey of healing and reconciliation already undertaken.” He explained that, “unfortunately, in Canada, many Christians, including some members of religious institutes, contributed to the policies of cultural assimilation that, in the past, have severely harmed indigenous communities in various ways.”

The Holy Father leaves Sunday, July 24 for a multi-city visit to Canada, arriving back in Rome on July 30.

Addressing Canadians specifically, the Pope Sunday recalled a series of meetings he held in the Vatican in April with delegations from Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, listening to stories about life in the residential school system. As Vatican news reported, this was the forcible integration of indigenous children into Canadian culture by separating them from their families and communities and placing them in boarding schools.

On April 1, Pope Francis expressed his profound sorrow to the delegations, asking for pardon for the suffering inflicted by some members of the Catholic Church. He also mentioned he wanted to travel to Canada.

The fact the Canada trip is still on the papal agenda seems to be positive news about the Pope’s health.

In a recent interview, he spoke about his cancelled July trip to Africa: “I suffered so much for not being able to do this trip, but the doctor told me not to do it because I was not able to do it yet. I’ll go to Canada because the doctor told me at that time, ‘With 20 more days you will recover.’

Francis further explained his knee problem: “A ligament became inflamed and, because I walk badly (due to sciatica), this …. moved a bone and caused a fracture…and that’s the problem. …I am slowly improving, and technically the calcification has already occurred, thanks to all the work done with the laser … and magnet therapy. Now I have to start moving because there’s a danger of losing muscle tone if one doesn’t move.”


Pope Francis says SIGNIS “can play an important role” in meeting the challenge of “toxicity, hate speech, and fake news” in the media.

By Christopher Wells (vaticannews)

Although modern means of communication can be “a powerful means of fostering communion and dialogue within our human family,” they can also become “places of toxicity, hate speech, and fake news,” warns Pope Francis, in a message to the lay communications network SIGNIS, which is holding its annual World Congress in Seoul in August.

“It is appropriate,” the Pope says, “that, in these days marked by new outbreaks of violence and aggression in our world, you have chosen as the theme of your World Congress ‘Peace in the Digital World.”

Serious ethical issues

Pope Francis notes, “The use of digital media, especially social media, has raised a number of serious ethical issues that call for wise and discerning judgment on the part of communicators, and all those concerned with authenticity and the quality of human relationships.” SIGNIS, he continues, “can play an important role” in meeting this challenge, especially through “media education, networking Catholic media, and countering lies and misinformation.”

In his message, the Pope encourages SIGNIS members to persevere in their efforts by helping people “develop a sound critical sense, learning to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, good from evil, and to appreciate the importance of working for justice, social concord, and respect for our common home.” At the same time, recognizing that many communities have limited access to “the digital space,” he calls on SIGNIS communicators to make “digital inclusion a priority” in their planning.

The value of listening

The Holy Father also calls attention to the importance of listening “as the first and indispensable ingredient of dialogue and good communication,” an issue he highlighted in his message for World Communication Day 2022.

“Communication is not just a profession, but a service to dialogue and understanding between individuals and larger communities in the pursuit of a serene and peaceful coexistence.”

Listening, he says, “is likewise essential to the synodal journey that the whole Church has undertaken in these years,” recalling the ongoing Synod on Synodality that will culminate at the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2023.

“It is my hope,” Pope Francis says, “that, in your communication, you will contribute to this process by assisting the holy and faithful people of God in our commitment to listen to one another, to the Lord’s will, and to grow in the awareness that we participate in a communion that precedes and includes us.”

“In this way, your efforts to foster ‘Peace in the Digital World’ will help to create an ever more ‘symphonic’ Church, whose unity is expressed in a harmonious and sacred polyphony.”