Cardinal asks top Vatican officials to donate to pandemic relief efforts

Cardinal asks top Vatican officials to donate to pandemic relief efforts

Pope Francis shakes hands with Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, papal almoner, as he arrives to bless a car donated to the papal almoner's office at the Vatican, Feb. 6, 2019. (Credit: CNS photo/Vatican Media.)

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, has asked Vatican cardinals, archbishops and other top officials to make a monetary Easter offering to assist people suffering during the coronavirus pandemic.

ROME — Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, has asked Vatican cardinals, archbishops and other top officials to make a monetary Easter offering to assist people suffering during the coronavirus pandemic.

“To participate in the suffering of those enduring hardship,” the cardinal asked members of what is called the “Pontifical Chapel” to make a donation to Pope Francis.

“The Holy Father then will decide on the destination of the offerings gathered for the health emergency,” said a communique April 6 from the almoner’s office.

The almoner, himself a member of the Pontifical Chapel, distributes charity in the name of the pope. While Caritas Internationalis coordinates development and relief projects funded and operated by national Catholic charities around the world, the almoner’s office engages in smaller-scale charity and takes special care of the poor and homeless living near the Vatican.

The Papal Chapel includes the church’s cardinals, the prefects and secretaries of Vatican offices, some abbots and superiors general, the top officials of Vatican tribunals, pastors of the parishes of Rome and others, for a total of about 250 people, according to Vatican News.

If they are in Rome, members of the Papal Chapel usually would join the pope for public liturgies, especially the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter Mass. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebrations were to be done with only very few people present.

Given their inability to join the pope, Krajewski asked the prelates to show their unity with the pope through an offering.

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