By Matthew Trojacek with CNA Reports – Grzegorz Galazka and CNA photos


Friday 1

Pope Francis asks opponents of Syro-Malabar Uniform Liturgy to take “painful step” of accepting change

Pope Francis has urged Syro-Malabar Catholics opposed to the introduction of a uniform liturgy to take the “difficult and painful step” of accepting the change.

In a three-page letter addressed to members of the Archeparchy of Ernakulam-Angamaly, the Pope noted that the Synod of Bishops of the Eastern Catholic Church based in India had endorsed the move.

He said that as of November 28, 2021, the date selected for the transition, 34 eparchies had decided to enact the synodal decision.

The Eucharistic liturgy of the Syro-Malabar Church, known as the Holy Qurbana, has been the subject of a decades-long dispute. The controversy is centered on a debate about which direction the priest should face when celebrating the liturgy.

The authenticity of the Pope’s letter was reportedly questioned in India, but Vatican News, the online news portal of the Holy See, published a summary on April 1.

Protests against the adoption of a uniform liturgy have included a hunger strike by priests and the burning of effigies of cardinals. (CNA)

Wednesday 20

Pope Francis: to discard the elderly “is a grave sin”

To forgo honoring the elderly as God commands, and to treat them as something to discard “is a grave sin,” Pope Francis said on April 20.

During his weekly meeting with the public in Saint Peter’s Square, the Pope said, “This commandment to honor the elderly gives us a blessing.”

“Please, care for old people,” he urged, “because they are the presence of history, the presence of the family. And it is thanks to them we are here. Please, do not leave them alone.”

Honoring the elderly is a form of love, giving life not only to those honored, but to those doing the honoring, the Pope said. (CNA)

Saturday 23

Pope Francis: God is weeping for the victims of the Ukraine war

A group of Ukrainians who live in Italy with their families came to St. Peter’s Square to show their solidarity with their motherland, Ukraine. (Photo Galazka)

Pope Francis said today that “we must ask for the grace to weep” with Our Lady for the lives destroyed by the Ukraine war and the other miseries of our time, like “the children discarded before they are even born.”

In a meeting on April 23 with the Catholic community affiliated with the Marian shrine of Our Lady of Tears in northern Italy, the Pope said that Mary’s tears are “a sign of God’s weeping for the victims of the war” in Ukraine.

Pope Francis underlined that the war is “destroying not only Ukraine,” but is destroying “all the nations involved in the war.”

“We have entrusted our prayer to the Immaculate Heart, and we are certain that our Mother has accepted it and intercedes for peace because she is the Queen of Peace,” the Pope added. (CNA)

Friday 29

Pope Francis: All countries should promote family-friendly policies

In an address to members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on April 29, the Pope insisted that it was possible to create “a family-friendly society” despite major cultural and economic obstacles.

“Family-friendly social, economic, and cultural policies need to be promoted in all countries,” he said.

“These include, for example, policies that make it possible to harmonize family and work; fiscal policies that recognize family burdens and support the educational functions of families by adopting appropriate instruments of fiscal equity; policies that welcome life; and social, psychological, and health services centered on support for couple and parental relationships.”

He added: “A ‘family-friendly’ society is possible. Because society is born and evolves with the family. Not everything is attributable to a contract, nor can everything be imposed by command.” (CNA)


Thursday 5

Pope Francis uses wheelchair in public for first time since colon surgery

Pope Francis used a wheelchair during a public meeting on May 5, the first time he has done so publicly since leaving the hospital after colon surgery in July 2021.

The 85-year-old Pope has had difficulty walking due to a painful torn ligament in his knee. He was pushed in a wheelchair onto the stage of the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, at the start of a meeting with participants in the plenary meeting of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG).

During his recent public appearances, he has apologized for being unable to stand and walk to greet participants. (CNA)

Friday 6

Pope Francis encourages new Swiss Guard recruits “to grow as Christians”

Pope Francis meets with new members of the Swiss Guard before their swearing-in ceremony at the Vatican May 6, 2022 (CNS photo/Vatican Media).

Pope Francis encouraged 36 new recruits of the Pontifical Swiss Guard to “grow as Christians” during their service in Rome.

The Pope met with the new candidates for the world’s smallest but oldest standing army on May 6, the day of their swearing-in ceremony.

He said: “Dear Swiss Guards, I encourage you to always place the proper emphasis on formation. The efforts devoted to it are indispensable for acquiring adequate skills and professional competence.

“But first of all, the time spent in Rome should be valued in order to grow as Christians. I am thinking of the spiritual life, which allows us to discover God’s plan for each of us.” (CNA)

Thursday 12

Pope Francis: Low birth rate is a “social emergency”

Pope Francis decried the low birth rate in Western countries on May 12, describing it as an urgent social emergency and a “new poverty.”

“It is not immediately perceptible, like other problems that occupy the news, but it is very urgent: fewer and fewer children are being born, and this means impoverishing everyone’s future; Italy, Europe, and the West are impoverishing their futures,” Pope Francis said in a message to an event addressing the birth rate in Italy. The Pope’s message was read during the second edition of the meeting “The General State of the Birth Rate,” held in Rome on May 12-13. Pope Francis also spoke at the meeting in 2021.

“Sorry that I cannot be among you physically this year,” he said. “But I will follow your work closely, because the issue of birth rate represents a real social emergency.”

“The General State of the Birth Rate” brought together political, business, and organization leaders to reflect on Italy’s demographic crisis, caused by one of the lowest birth rates in Europe: 1.24 births per woman.

“The data, the forecasts, the numbers are now known to all: we need concreteness,” Pope Francis said in his message. “It is time to give real answers to families and young people: hope cannot and must not die of waiting.” (CNA)

Saturday 21

Pope Francis: Catholic schools should not be Christian in name only

Speaking to the De La Salle Christian Brothers, the Pope underlined that Christians educators must first of all be witnesses to the Gospel.

“The Christian educator, in the school of Christ, is first of all a witness, and he is a teacher to the extent that he is a witness,” Pope Francis said on May 21.

“And above all I pray for you, that you may be brothers not only in name, but in fact. And for your schools to be Christian not in name, but in fact,” he said. (CNA)

Monday 30

Vatican grants indulgences for Day for Grandparents and Elderly

In a decree published on May 30, the Apostolic Penitentiary — the Vatican tribunal responsible for issues relating to mercy and the forgiveness of sins in the Church — announced several grants of indulgences for those taking part in the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which this year falls on July 24.

A plenary indulgence, which may also be obtained in suffrage for the souls in Purgatory, is granted:

—to grandparents, the elderly, and the faithful who, motivated by a true spirit of penance and charity, will participate on July 24 in the solemn celebration that Pope Francis will preside over in the Vatican, or in the various functions that take place throughout the world

—to the faithful who, on the same day, devote adequate time to visit, in person or virtually through the media, their disabled brothers and sisters in need or in difficulty (such as the sick, the abandoned, or the disabled)

—to the sick elderly and to all those who, unable to leave their homes for a serious reason, will unite spiritually with the sacred services of the World Day, offering to the Merciful God their prayers, the pains and sufferings of their lives, especially while the words of the Supreme Pontiff and the various celebrations are broadcast through the media.

The grants of indulgence, “from the heavenly treasures of the Church,” are made under the usual conditions of sacramental confession, receiving the Eucharist, and prayers for the intentions of the Pope. (VaticanNews)

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