By Deborah Castellano Lubov

We must be prudent, so the pandemic does not return…

According to Vatican News, Pope Francis stressed today, April 28th, during his private daily Mass at his residence Casa Santa Marta.

At the start of the Mass, while remembering all victims of Coronavirus, Francis prayed for prudence at this time, as quarantine restrictions start to ease during the so-called ‘Phase two’ in Italy set to begin gradually on May 4th.

“At this time, when indications have been given to exit out of quarantine,” Pope Francis said, “we pray the Lord will grant to His people, all of us, the grace of prudence and obedience to these indications, so that the pandemic does not return.”

In his homily, the Holy Father commented on a passage from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 7:51-8:1), where Stephen courageously speaks to the people, the elders and the scribes, who judge him with false testimony, drag him out of the city and stone him.

Francis observed that the Doctors of the Law did not tolerate the clarity of doctrine, and asked someone to say that they had heard Stephen blaspheme against God and the Law.

Just like Stephen, the Pontiff underscored, “they did the same with Jesus too, trying to convince the people that He was a blasphemer.”

The Shoah, Asia Bibi

Similarly, this happens with the martyrs of today, like Asia Bibi, Pope Francis remembered, recalling her imprisonment for many years, judged by slander.

Faced with the avalanche of false news, the Pontiff lamented, creates opinions and reputation that are hard or almost impossible to reverse.

“I think of the Shoah”, said the Pope, when opinion was created against a people in order to cast them out.

No Lynching With Our Words

“Then,” he pointed out, “there is the small daily lynching that tries to condemn people, to create a bad reputation, the small daily lynching of gossip that creates opinions in order to condemn people.”

Whereas the truth, emphasized Pope Francis, “is clear and transparent, it is the testimony of truth, of what is believed.

“Let’s think about our tongues,” Francis exhorted, noting: “many times with our comments we start such lynching.”

“Even in our Christian institutions,” he lamented, “we have seen so many daily lynchings born out of gossip.”

Pope Francis concluded, praying: “May the Lord help us to be righteous, in our judgments, not to begin to follow this mass condemnation that provokes gossip.”

The Pope ended the celebration with Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction, inviting the faithful to make a Spiritual Communion.

The Masses in Francis’ chapel normally welcome a small group of faithful, but due to recent measures’ taken by the Vatican, are now being kept private, without their participation. The Holy Week and Easter celebrations in the Vatican were also done without the presence of faithful, but were able to be watched via streaming.

Likewise, the Pope had a private Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday, with very limited participation by others, at the Roman Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia. One could watch via streaming.

It was announced at the start of the lockdowns in Italy that the Pope would have these Masses, in this period, be available to all the world’s faithful, via streaming on Vatican Media, on weekdays, at 7 am Rome time, along with his weekly Angelus and General Audiences.

In Italy where 25,000 people have died from coronavirus, public Masses are still prohibited. To date, in the Vatican, there have been nine cases of coronavirus in the Vatican.

The Vatican Museums are closed, along with the Vatican’s other similar museums. There have also been various guidelines implemented throughout the Vatican, to prevent the spread of the virus.

For anyone interested, the Pope’s Masses at Santa Marta can be watched live and can be watched afterward on Vatican YouTube. Below is a link to today’s Mass. Also, a ZENIT English translation of the Pope’s full homily will be available below later this morning:

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FULL HOMILY, is being translated, and will be provided as soon as possible [translated by ZENIT’s Virginia Forrester]

The post We Must Be Prudent So Pandemic Does Not Return, Says Pope at Santa Marta appeared first on ZENIT – English.

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