Pope appeals for prudence lest pandemic returns

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis speaks during his general audience as it is streamed via video over the internet from a library inside the Vatican, March 25, 2020. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

Pope Francis appealed for prudence so that the coronavirus pandemic does not return. The Pope was celebrating Mass Tuesday morning at the chapel of Casa Santa Marta.

Vatican News reported that at the start of the Mass the Pope remembered all victims of the pandemic. Then Francis prayed for prudence at this time, when quarantine restrictions are being eased during the so-called ‘Phase two’ which in Italy is 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.”

Lynching born of gossip

The Pope preached about the reading from the Acts of the Apostles about St Stephen. He said that what happened to Stephen also happens with the martyrs of today, like the Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi who was imprisoned 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 an opinion was created against a people in order to cast them out.

 “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.”

 “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 lynching 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.”

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