VATICAN INSIDER: FR. JOHN PAUL, A MISSIONARY OF MERCY – POPE FRANCIS POSTPONES JULY TRIP TO AFRICA – LACE AND THE LITURGY

VATICAN INSIDER: FR. JOHN PAUL, A MISSIONARY OF MERCY

My guest this week in the interview segment of Vatican Insider is EWTN’s chaplain to staff, Fr. John Paul. He spends several weeks each year with the Rome bureau staff and this week and next, he’ll talk about that as well as his life as a Missionary of Mercy, with especially meaningful words on being a confessor. It will give you a new and wonderful idea about confessor priests. Next week he will tell us about the third international meeting of missionaries of mercy with Pope Francis.

Here are some photos from Fr. John Paul’s May visit:

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POPE FRANCIS POSTPONES JULY TRIP TO AFRICA

The day’s big news came this morning from Holy See Press Office director Matteo Bruni: “At the request of his doctors, and in order not to jeopardize the results of the therapy that he is undergoing for his knee, the Holy Father has been forced to postpone, with regret, his Apostolic Journey to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to South Sudan, planned for 2 to 7 July, to a later date to be determined.”

Hopefully, we will also be apprised of the therapy the Pope is undergoing as there has been no official news, declarations or statements on this for weeks.

Pope Francis is also scheduled to travel to Canada at the end of July (July 24 to 29, leaving that day for Rome, arriving on the 30th).

LACE AND THE LITURGY

My take on some interesting thoughts expressed yesterday in off-the-cuff remarks by Pope Francis to priests and bishops from Sicily in a morning audience in the Clementine Hall. I had read his entire talk in Italian and had posted the Vatican News summary, neither of which had these remarks as, of course, they were spontaneous. Here are those papal remarks from the CNA story:

In improvised comments during his speech, Francis also addressed a topic that he said “worries” him: the progress of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, particularly relating to the liturgy.

“I don’t know, because I don’t go to Mass in Sicily and I don’t know how the Sicilian priests preach, whether they preach as was suggested in [the 2013 Aapostolic exhortationEvangelii gaudium or whether they preach in such a way that people go out for a cigarette and then come back,” the pope said.

He suggested that after eight minutes of a homily, most people’s attention begins to wane.

Noting that he had seen photos from Masses in Sicily, Francis appeared also to comment on the use of lace on the vestments priests wear while celebrating Mass.

“Where are we 60 years after the Council,” he said. “Some updating even in liturgical art, in liturgical ‘fashion’.”

“Yes, sometimes bringing some of grandma’s lace is appropriate, sometimes. It’s to pay homage to grandma, right?” he continued. “It’s good to honor grandma, but it’s better to celebrate the mother, Holy Mother Church, and how Mother Church wants to be celebrated. So that insularity does not prevent the true liturgical reform that the Council sent out.” (Pope Francis urges Sicily’s Catholic priests to be moral guides — but to drop the lace | Catholic News Agency)

Pope Francis used to advocate that homilies be no more than 10 minutes – now max should be 8 minutes.

And lace – the apparent overabundant use of lace! Let’s check out the papal Masses in St. Peter’s to see what prelates are wearing. I’ve seen lace in the past!

Has lace now become a bad thing because it is part of Tradition?