Vatican Corner 08-02-2020

On July 23, 2020 a notice went out announcing that the Vatican has published a book which contains Pope Francis’ homilies during the coronavirus lockdown which he delivered between March 9 and May 18, 2020. It was also reported that the book include prayers, blessings, messages, and resources for times when physical access to the sacraments is not possible. The book’s title is “Strong in the Face of Tribulation: The Church in Communion – A Sure Support in Time of Trial.” It was said that a free PDF version of the book is available from the Vatican Publishing House website and in several different languages. The notice also said that a paperback version of the book is available on Amazon.com for $22.90. In an interview a few months back with the Papal biographer and journalist Austin Ivereigh, Pope Francis discussed life under the lockdown of the Covid – 19 pandemic. He said that everyone in the Vatican is working despite the restrictions. “The Curia (administration) is trying to carry on its work, and to live normally, organizing in shifts so that not everyone is present at the same time. It’s been well thought out. We are sticking to the measures ordered by the health authorities. Here in the Santa Marta residence we now have two shifts for meals, which helps a lot to alleviate the impact. Everyone works in his office or from his room, using technology. Everyone is working; there are no idlers here.” He said when asked about the aftFermath of the pandemic, “that the aftermath has already begun to be revealed as tragic and painful, which is why we must be thinking about it now. The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development has been working on this, and meeting with me.” Regarding the economic issues, Francis said that a number of governments used “exemplary measures” to defend their citizens during the pandemic, but he added that “right now, the homeless continue to be homeless”, hotels are empty, but the homeless cannot go to a hotel, “ that is the throwaway culture in practice.” Pope Francis said “every crisis contains both danger and opportunity: the opportunity to move out from the danger. Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world. We need to reconnect with our real surroundings. This is the opportunity for conversion.” He talked about “the saints who live next door. They are heroes: doctors, volunteers, religious sisters, priests, shop workers – all performing their duty so that society can continue functioning.” Francis says “if we become aware of this miracle of the next-door saints, if we can follow their tracks, the miracle will end well, for the good of all.” Pope Francis said living in a time of great uncertainty, “it’s a time for inventing, for creativity”… Christian creativity “needs to show forth in opening up new horizons, opening windows, opening transcendence toward God and toward people, and in creating new ways of being at home. It’s not easy to be confined to your home.” “We have to respond to our confinement with our creativity. He wants people to take “the elderly and the young under their wing, that they take history under their wing, take the deprived under their wing.”