- May 17, 2021
This week the Italian bishops set to work on the initial preparations of their upcoming “synodal journey,” which was explicitly asked for by Pope Francis and will likely aim to get Catholics in the country on the same page with the pope’s agenda.
Religious education must focus on leading people to a personal relationship with Christ and building a community of believers where the talents of each person are valued and where all go out to share the Gospel and serve the poor, Pope Francis said.
The Italian bishops this week made a small change to the rules for Mass in the COVID-era, allowing churchgoers to extend a non-physical sign of peace their neighbor in the pews, but nixing the now-common trend of the elbow bump.
The Italian bishops in their winter assembly have emphasized the need for reconciliation as citizens navigate current political upheaval, the rollout of anti-COVID vaccines, and an economic crisis forcing more and more people into the growing class of the “new poor.”
Former Italian deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, a populist and known opponent of Pope Francis and the Italian bishops on the issue of immigration, is on trial for kidnapping related to his refusal to allow migrants to disembark a rescue ship in 2019.
As European leaders are discussing how to handle holiday festivities, including Mass, given the current pandemic, Italy’s bishops have voiced confidence that whatever new measures might be taken, Christmas liturgies will still be available.
Italian Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti has shown slight improvements in his fight against COVID-19.
Beginning today, Italian family members and friends are no longer required to observe social distancing when they come to church, and churches are once again able to have choirs at Mass and the assembly can sing.