- Apr 16, 2021
The Council of European Bishops’ Conferences announced the launch of a prayer network during Lent to pray for the victims of COVID-19 and for the families of those who died of the coronavirus.
When the day finally comes that the Church can return to normal liturgical and pastoral life, what then?
Europe’s Catholic bishops urged their citizens to “wake up” and find new hope by rediscovering the continent’s Christian roots.
After a major bridge collapsed in Genoa on Tuesday, killing 38 and leaving many others wounded or missing, Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims and all those effected by the disaster, entrusting them to God’s mercy.
While globalization at its best can enable the sharing of spiritual and material riches, it also can lead to huge destruction, the bishops of Europe and Africa said after a four-day meeting in Fatima, Portugal.
“I will not hide my concern before the signs of intolerance, discrimination and xenophobia that can be found in different regions of Europe,” Pope Francis said at an audience at the Vatican. “The contemporary migrant flows represent a new missionary frontier,” he added.
In general, the president of a national bishops’ conference may be an important post domestically, but it doesn’t have great international interest. The one exception tends to be Italy, where the president of the conference is presumed to be a role model for bishops trying to reflect the current pope’s vision, and now the Italians have a new prelate at the helm.
Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti has been named the new president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. The cardinal is seen as being in the mold of Pope Francis, including a commitment to simplicity and service to the poor, but is difficult to pigeonhole as a liberal or conservative.