Papal Audience

Another wonderful week in Rome. We had mass three times in St Peter’s, twice at an altar reserved for our group and one of these times at the most privileged altar in the basilica – the altar at the tomb of St Peter.

We saw and heard Pope Francis twice, at the Angelus on Sunday and at the Papal Audience on Wednesday. Our people had a wonderful position to see and photograph the Pope as he came through the crowd on his pope-mobile.

On Sunday he celebrated mass for the homeless of Rome. He’s made a difference, raising
awareness of their plight, arranging for showers to be available for them each day. He is a pope from the heart, an Italian said to me. True, and from the head: he knows what he is doing in taking on many vested interests in the Vatican – small power blocs, networks, etc. Sad, but inevitable in any bureaucracy.

Pope Francis’ sister is quoted as saying to the press in Argentina, when he was elected, that he called the Vatican “a nest of vipers” and she wondered how he would get on there. A foolish thing for her to say – she created enemies for him from the beginning and we have seen them at work in regular reports in the Catholic press.

We know that all governments are like this, the human element so strong, but sad to know our Vatican is similar. We pray for the Pope and those who do not agree with him, longing for integrity.

God bless him and them and us,

Fr John
(26th November 2017)