- Mar 6, 2021
Celebrating Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday at the Roman parish of Santo Spirito, Pope Francis said the current COVID-19 coronavirus is an opportunity to practice mercy toward the poor and those who are suffering, particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic.
In one fell swoop Friday night, Francis not only delivered what seems destined to become the most iconic image of the pandemic, he effectively shut down what had been a mounting undercurrent of criticism about the supposed “invisibility” and “silence” of the Church.
St. John Paul II’s “prophetic encyclical” on the value and inviolability of human life, “The Gospel of Life” (“Evangelium Vitae”) provides “a clear challenge” to Catholics, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee.
Ernesto Cardenal, the renowned poet and Catholic cleric who became a symbol of revolutionary verse in Nicaragua and around Latin America, and whose suspension from the priesthood by St. John Paul II lasted over three decades, died Sunday. He was 95.
“It’s as if the world hates us,” Daniela Andrade said Monday, trying to explain the bewilderment and anger people often feel over blatant pollution and related health issues generated by the oil and mining industries, coupled with grinding poverty and chronic governmental neglect.
“There always is the schismatic option in the Church,” Francis said. “It’s a choice that the Lord leaves to human freedom. I am not afraid of schism … I pray for them not to happen, as the spiritual health of many people is at stake.”
The idea that there’s something jarring about Christian conservationism was fashionable in the 1960s and ’70s, but it’s been badly outdated for some time.