Synodality must become ‘paradigm’ for dioceses, pope tells bishops

By Justin McLellan
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The Catholic Church’s synodal path, the church-wide listening and dialogue process currently approaching its second assembly in October, must become a model for all Catholic dioceses and parishes, Pope Francis said.

Opening the general assembly of the Italian bishops’ conference in the Vatican synod hall May 20, the pope spent an hour and a half answering questions posed to him by some 200 bishops on global issues, from migration to rising antisemitism, as well as problems within the church such as falling vocation rates and the merging of dioceses, according to reports by Italian Catholic media.

Bishop Antonio De Luca of Teggiano-Policastro in central Italy told Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, that Pope Francis “asked us to encourage the synodal way so that it may become a paradigm in dioceses and parishes.”

During the closed-door meeting, the pope said pastors must approach the current era of change in society not with sadness but with a renewed energy since the Lord does not abandon his church, Avvenire reported.

The assembly’s primary focus was on the synodal path, particularly its upcoming “prophetic phase” in preparation for the general assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October.

Bishop Mario Toso of Faenza-Modigliana in northern Italy said the recent “ad limina” by Italian bishops offered Pope Francis material for reflection regarding the merging of dioceses, a consideration frequently brought up by the bishops in their meeting with the pope. “It is not necessarily the case that this should be the way forward in the future,” he said.

Pope Francis speaks to Italian bishops in the Vatican synod hall during the general assembly of the Italian bishops’ conference May 20, 2024. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

The pope also addressed the issue of seminary restructuring, advocating for regional or interdiocesan seminaries where the number of seminarians is too low to allow for individual diocesan seminaries and to ensure better formation and community life for future priests. 

Vatican News reported that Pope Francis responded to bishops who asked about the lack of consecrated religious in their communities by highlighting the example of the church in Latin America, where religious sisters and laypeople are deeply engaged in organizing community life.

The bishops said declining vocations and aging clergy were also concerns raised during the meeting. Pope Francis encouraged them not to view these challenges catastrophically but to approach them with hope and creativity, highlighting the importance of supporting and accompanying priests who need encouragement and assistance in navigating contemporary cultural changes.

The pope gave each of the bishops a copy of his book, “Holy, not Worldly,” which collects his reflections on spiritual worldliness and the need for a humble and service-oriented church.

Ascension shows that no one is left behind en route to heaven, pope says

By Justin McLellan

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Jesus’ ascension shows that, despite the difficulties in peoples’ lives, they are all made for heaven, Pope Francis said.

Reflecting May 12 on the Gospel reading from St. Mark, which recounts how Jesus “was taken up into heaven,” the pope said that Jesus’ ascension into heaven does not represent a detachment from humanity but rather precedes its ultimate destination: heaven.

Pope Francis compared Jesus’ resurrection to the point when, during a difficult climb, one turns a corner and sees the destination in the distance, giving the body the energy and encouragement needed to reach the peak.

Pope Francis gives his blessing after praying the “Regina Coeli” in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 12, 2024. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

“We, the church, are precisely that body that Jesus, having ascended to heaven, pulls along with him,” he said. “It is he who awakens us and communicates to us, with his word and with the grace of the sacraments, the beauty of the homeland toward which we are headed.”

Members of the church, who are members Jesus’s body, he said, “ascend with joy together with him, our leader, knowing that the step of one is a step for all, and that no one must be lost or left behind because we are but one body.”

Pope Francis said that to take steps toward Jesus one must perform “the works of love: to give life, bring hope, steer away from any form of wickedness and meanness, respond to evil with good, be close to those who suffer.”

“The more we do this, the more we let ourselves be transformed by the Spirit,” he said, ” the more we follow his example, as in the mountains, we feel in the air around us become light and clean, the horizon broad and the destination near, words and gestures become good, the mind and heart expand and breathe.”

The pope encouraged Christians to reflect on whether they have a strong desire for God and eternal life, or if they are “a bit dulled and anchored to passing things or money or success or pleasure.”

“Does my desire for heaven isolate me, does it seal me off, or does it lead me to love my brothers and sisters with a big and selfless heart, to feel that they are my companions on the journey toward paradise?” he asked.

Love makes individuals and the world better, pope says

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Meeting with thousands of Italian grandparents and their children and grandchildren, Pope Francis insisted repeatedly, “Love makes us better.”

“Love makes us better; it makes us richer, and it makes us wiser, at any age,” he said April 27 to the young and old who filled the Vatican audience hall. “Love makes us better.”

Pope Francis arrives for a meeting with thousands of Italian grandparents with their children and grandchildren April 27, 2024, in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Joining people associated with the Età Grande Foundation, which lobbies for the rights of the elderly to stay in their homes with family, community and government support, Pope Francis spoke about his grandmother Rosa, who first taught him to pray, and he mimicked grandparents everywhere by handing out chocolates to the children.

The pope told the families, “You make each other better by loving each other. And I say this to you as a ‘grandfather’ with the desire to share the ever-youthful faith that unites all generations” and which “I received from my grandmother, from whom I first learned about Jesus who loves us, who never leaves us alone, and who urges us too to be close to each other and never to exclude anyone.”

And in a world that so often focuses on the individual and his or her accomplishments and possessions, love actually is what makes people richer, he said.

Sometimes, he said, people speak of the “world of youth” or the “world of the elderly,” but “there is just one world! And it is made up of many realities that are different precisely to help and complement each other.”

People of different generations, different nationalities and different talents “if harmonized, can reveal, like the faces of a big diamond, the wondrous splendor of humanity and creation,” the pope said. “This, too, is what your being together teaches us: not to let diversity create rifts between us! No, let there not be rifts – don’t pulverize the diamond of love, the most beautiful treasure God has given us: love.”

Too often, the pope said, people are told to be self-reliant and that the strong do not need anyone.
But that is a sad way to live, he said, especially as one gets older.

“The elderly must not be left alone, they must live within the family, in the community, with the affection of everyone,” he said. “And if they cannot live with their families, we must go to visit them and stay close to them.”

Papa anima a presas a no perder nunca la esperanza

Por Carol Glatz
VENECIA, Italia (CNS) – La estructura de hierro forjado oxidado y la reja de un viejo pozo se convirtieron en un jardín de flores tejidas dentro del patio de la prisión de mujeres de Giudecca en Venecia. Las guirnaldas hechas a mano también adornaban las columnas de ladrillo de los arcos y los desagües de cobre.

Unas 80 detenidas, personal penitenciario y voluntarios aplaudieron y sonrieron cuando el Papa Francisco les dijo que quería reunirse con ellas primero en su visita de un día a Venecia el 28 de abril para decirles: “Tienen un lugar especial en mi corazón”.

En lugar de ser un asunto rígido y formal, dijo, quería que su momento juntos fuera una oportunidad para “darse tiempo, oración, cercanía y afecto fraterno”. “Hoy todos saldremos más ricos de este patio -tal vez el que salga más rico seré yo- y el bien que intercambiaremos será precioso”, dijo el Papa, que ha visitado más de una docena de prisiones en sus 11 años de largo pontificado.

El Papa Francisco habla con mujeres detenidas en el patio de la cárcel de mujeres de la Giudecca, en Venecia, el 28 de abril de 2024. (Foto CNS/Vatican Media)

“La prisión es una dura realidad y problemas como el hacinamiento, la falta de instalaciones y recursos y los episodios de violencia provocan allí un gran sufrimiento”, afirmó. Pero el tiempo de detención de las mujeres también puede convertirse en una ocasión de “renacimiento moral y material.” Puede ser un momento para una mirada valiente y una evaluación de la propia vida, para empezar de nuevo, “poniendo ladrillo sobre ladrillo, juntos, con determinación”, dijo. “Por lo tanto, es fundamental también que el sistema penitenciario ofrezca a los detenidos las herramientas y el espacio para el crecimiento humano, espiritual, cultural y profesional, creando las condiciones para su saludable reintegración”.

El Papa Francisco instó a las mujeres a ser valientes, a no rendirse nunca y mirar siempre al futuro con esperanza. “Me gusta pensar en la esperanza como un ancla que está anclada en el futuro, y tenemos la cuerda en nuestras manos, y avanzamos con la cuerda anclada en el futuro”.

Varias mujeres entregaron al Papa regalos que ellas y otros detenidos hicieron en los diferentes talleres de la prisión.

El Papa también recibió una pequeña cesta llena de rosas blancas y amarillas tejidas a crochet por las mismas mujeres que decoraban el patio. Había una rosa roja en la canasta, dijo un voluntario no identificado, para simbolizar la lucha contra la violencia contra las mujeres.

Cultivate solidarity through prayer, adoration, pope tells donors

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Today’s “growing culture of indifference and individualism” must be countered with prayer and adoration, which inspires solidarity with those in need, Pope Francis said.
Charitable efforts guided and inspired by the Catholic faith “must be continually nourished by participation in the life of the church, the reception of the sacraments, and time spent quietly before the Lord in prayer and adoration,” the pope told more than 60 members of The Papal Foundation and their families April 12.

The U.S. foundation describes itself as the only charitable organization in the United States dedicated to fulfilling the pope’s requests for the needs of the Catholic Church. Donors to the foundation, known as Stewards of St. Peter, make annual pilgrimages to Rome and have an opportunity to meet the pope.

Pope Francis reminded the group that the pilgrimage this year is taking place during the Year of Prayer in preparation for the Holy Year 2025, and he encouraged them to “not forget to adore the Lord” in silent adoration. “We have neglected this form of prayer and we need to take it up again: adoring the Lord in silence.”

“Through our perseverance in prayer, we gradually become ‘a single heart and soul’ with both Jesus and others, which then translates into solidarity and the sharing of our daily bread,” he said, referencing a passage from the Acts of the Apostles.

The pope noted that although the donors may not personally meet the beneficiaries of their generosity, “the programs of The Papal Foundation foster a spiritual and fraternal bond with people from many different cultures, languages and regions who receive assistance.”

The foundation announced in a statement April 12 that it will dedicate $14.74 million to grants, scholarships and humanitarian aid in 2024.

Pope Francis receives a New Orleans Saints football jersey bearing his name during a meeting with members of The Papal Foundation and their families at the Vatican April 12, 2024. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Close to $10 million will be distributed to grant recipients identified by the Vatican, supporting 118 projects in more than 60 countries, the foundation said, including projects to provide for basic needs such as access to clean water; renovating schools, churches, convents and seminaries; and building health care facilities. The foundation also allocated $4 million to its Mission Fund to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief, and it will provide $819,000 in scholarships to enable more than 100 priests, women religious and seminarians to study in Rome.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, said in the statement that the generosity of The Papal Foundation’s donors prioritizes the needs of the poor and vulnerable “in a society where the divide between rich and poor continues to grow.”

In their meeting, Pope Francis thanked the group for helping the successors of St. Peter “to build up many local churches and care for large numbers of the less fortunate.”

Cardinals O’Malley, Blase J. Cupich of Chicago and Wilton D. Gregory of Washington attended the meeting as trustees of the foundation, as well as Archbishops Samuel J. Aquila of Denver and Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans and Bishop James Checchio of Metuchen, New Jersey.
According to the foundation’s website, it has awarded more than $200 million in grants and scholarships selected by the popes since its founding in 1988.

War is ‘folly,’ pope says as he leads prayers for Ukraine, Gaza

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis held up a well-thumbed, camouflage-covered pocket edition of the New Testament and Psalms and a small fabric pouch containing a rosary.

He told people at his general audience April 3 that the Bible and rosary had belonged to 23-year-old Oleksandr, a Ukrainian soldier killed at Avdiivka. “He had his life ahead of him.”

“Oleksandr read the New Testament and the Psalms and had underlined this from Psalm 129 (130): ‘Out of the depths I call to you, Lord; Lord, hear my cry,’” the pope said.

Pope Francis asked the thousands of visitors and pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square to observe a moment of silent prayer for “this young man and many others like him killed in this folly that is war. War always destroys. Let’s think about them and pray.”

The pope also spoke of his “profound sorrow” at the news that seven members of the humanitarian group World Central Kitchen were killed by Israeli strikes on their vehicles in Gaza April 1 “while they were working to distribute food aid.”

Pope Francis shows people at his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 3, 2024, a camouflage-covered pocket edition of the New Testament and Psalms that he said had belonged to 23-year-old Oleksandr, a Ukrainian soldier killed at Avdiivka. (CNS photo/Pablo Esparza)

World Central Kitchen said the seven killed included an Australian, a Pole, three British men working security, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada and a Palestinian.

“Despite coordinating movements with the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces), the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route,” the organization said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised an investigation, describing the killings as a “tragic case of our forces unintentionally hitting innocent people.”

Pope Francis, speaking at the end of his general audience, said, “Once again I renew my firm call for an immediate cease-fire” in Gaza.

“I renew my appeal that access to humanitarian aid be allowed to reach the exhausted and suffering civil population,” he said, “and that the hostages immediately be released” by Hamas, which kidnapped them from Israel in October.

“Any irresponsible attempts to widen the conflict in the region must be avoided,” the pope said, and efforts must be made to end the fighting as soon as possible.

“Let us pray and work without tiring so that the weapons may be silenced, and peace may reign again,” he said.

Papa pide a Cristo ‘rodar’ las piedras de guerra en todo el mundo

Por Justin McLellan
CIUDAD DEL VATICANO (CNS) – Al igual que Jesús quitó la piedra que sellaba su tumba en la mañana de la Resurrección, en Pascua sólo Cristo “es capaz de quitar las piedras que cierran el camino hacia la vida” y que atrapan a la humanidad en la guerra y la injusticia, dijo el Papa Francisco.

Con su Resurrección, Jesús abre “esas puertas que cerramos continuamente con las guerras que proliferan en el mundo”, dijo tras celebrar la Misa de Pascua en la Plaza de San Pedro el 31 de marzo. “Sólo Cristo resucitado, dándonos el perdón de los pecados, nos abre el camino a un mundo renovado”.

Sentado en el balcón de la Basílica de San Pedro, el Papa rezó pidiendo a Cristo resucitado que traiga la paz a Israel, Palestina y Ucrania, así como a otras muchas regiones del mundo asoladas por conflictos.
“A la vez que invito a respetar de los principios del derecho internacional, hago votos por un intercambio general de todos los prisioneros entre Rusia y Ucrania”, dijo, “¡Todos por todos!”

Un cristiano ora sobre la Piedra de la Unción, donde la tradición sostiene que Jesús fue colocado después de su muerte, en la Iglesia del Santo Sepulcro el Viernes Santo en la Ciudad Vieja de Jerusalén, el 29 de marzo de 2024. (Foto de OSV News/Debbie Hill )

A continuación, el Papa Francisco hizo un llamado a la comunidad internacional para garantizar el acceso de ayudas humanitarias a Gaza y pidió la “rápida liberación” de los rehenes tomados durante el ataque de Hamás a Israel el 7 de octubre, así como “un inmediato alto el fuego en la Franja”.

“La guerra es siempre un absurdo y una derrota”, dijo, pidiendo que los “vientos reforzadores de la guerra” no lleguen a Europa y al Mediterráneo. “No permitamos que los vientos de la guerra soplen cada vez más fuertes sobre Europa y sobre el Mediterráneo. Que no se ceda a la lógica de las armas y del rearme. La paz no se construye nunca con las armas, sino tendiendo la mano y abriendo el corazón”.

La Misa de Pascua en la plaza florida comenzó con el canto del “aleluya”, tradicionalmente ausente de las celebraciones litúrgicas durante la Cuaresma, como parte del rito del “Resurrexit”, en el que se presenta al Papa un icono de Jesús para recordar el testimonio de San Pedro sobre la resurrección de Cristo.

Más de 21.000 bulbos de flores donados por floricultores holandeses decoraban la plaza y hacían estallar de color el cielo encapotado.

Las monjas rezan ante la Piedra de la Unción, donde la tradición sostiene que Jesús fue colocado después de su muerte, en la Iglesia del Santo Sepulcro el Viernes Santo en la Ciudad Vieja de Jerusalén, el 29 de marzo de 2024. (Foto de OSV News/Debbie Hill)

Como es tradicional, el Papa no pronunció una homilía durante la Misa matutina, sino que inclinó la cabeza y observó varios minutos de reflexión silenciosa tras el canto del Evangelio en latín y griego.

“Que Cristo resucitado abra un camino de esperanza a las personas que en otras partes del mundo sufren a causa de la violencia. Que dé consuelo a las víctimas de cualquier forma de terrorismo.”

Jesus wants all people to be saved, pope says at Angelus

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Christians should pray for the grace to look at others with the same mercy and care with which Jesus looks at them, Pope Francis said.

“No one is perfect. We are all sinners, we all make mistakes, and if the Lord were to use his knowledge of our weaknesses to condemn us, no one could be saved,” the pope said March 10 before reciting the Angelus prayer with visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Commenting on the day’s Gospel reading, Jn 3:14-21, Pope Francis focused on the line: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”

When Jesus encounters people in the Gospel, the pope said, he sees all that they are. “There are no secrets before him. He reads their hearts.”

Pope Francis greets visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the recitation of the Angelus prayer at the Vatican March 10, 2024. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Then and now, Jesus sees the whole person, not “to point the finger at us, but to embrace our life, to free us from sins and to save us,” he said. “Jesus is not interested in putting us on trial or subjecting us to judgment. He wants none of us to be lost.”

“The Lord’s gaze upon every one of us is not a blinding beacon that dazzles us and puts us in difficulty,” he said, “but rather the gentle glimmer of a friendly lamp that helps us to see the good in ourselves and to be aware of the evil so that we may be converted and healed with the support of his grace.”

However, Pope Francis said, people often do not treat others with the same kind of care.

Think about how “very often we condemn others,” he said. “Many times, we like to speak badly, to go in search of gossip against others. Let us ask the Lord to give us, all of us, this merciful gaze, to look at others as he looks at us.”

After reciting the Angelus, Pope Francis mentioned the March 8 celebration of International Women’s Day.

“I would like to address a thought and to express my closeness to all women, especially those whose dignity is not respected,” he said. “There is still a lot of work that each one of us must do for the equal dignity of women to be genuinely recognized. Institutions, social and political, have the fundamental duty to protect and promote the dignity of every human being, offering to women, the bearers of life, the necessary conditions to be able to welcome the gift of life and assure their children of a worthy existence.”

Pope Francis also called attention to “the grave crisis afflicting Haiti,” with kidnappings, looting and violence.

“I am close to the church and to the dear Haitian population, which has been plagued by many sufferings for years,” he said, asking people to pray that through the intercession of Our Lady of Perpetual Help “every sort of violence may cease and that everyone may offer their contribution to the growth of peace and reconciliation in the country with the renewed support of the international community.”

Still sick, pope has aide read his audience talk on envy and pride

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Arriving in a wheelchair instead of walking with his cane, Pope Francis began his weekly general audience by telling visitors and pilgrims, “I’m still a bit sick,” so an aide would read his prepared text.

The pope had canceled his appointments Feb. 24 and Feb. 26 because of what the Vatican press office described as “mild flu-symptoms,” but Pope Francis led the recitation of the Angelus prayer Feb. 25 without obvious difficulty.

At his general audience Feb. 28, his voice was hoarser and softer. Besides briefly telling the crowd he would not be reading his prepared text, he took the microphone only to pray at the beginning and end of the gathering and to read his appeals for peace and for an end to the use of landmines.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported that Pope Francis went from the audience to Rome’s Gemelli Isola Hospital for a checkup before returning to the Vatican. In late November when he was suffering similar symptoms, he had gone to that hospital for a CT scan of his lungs.

The Vatican press office later said the pope had gone to the hospital for “diagnostic tests.” It provided no other information.

Pope Francis gathers with a group of religious sisters for a group photo at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican Feb. 28, 2024. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis’ main audience talk focused on envy and vainglory, or exaggerated pride, as part of his continuing series of audience talks about vices and virtues.

Envy and vainglory “go hand in hand,” the pope wrote. “Together these two vices are characteristic of a person who aspires to be the center of the world, free to exploit everything and everyone, the object of all praise and love.”

Reading the Book of Genesis, envy appears to be “one of the oldest vices: Cain’s hatred of Abel is unleashed when he realizes that his brother’s sacrifices are pleasing to God,” he wrote.

“The face of the envious man is always sad: he’s always looking down, he seems to be continually investigating the ground; but in reality, he sees nothing, because his mind is wrapped up in thoughts full of wickedness,” he said. “Envy, if unchecked, leads to hatred of the other. Abel would be killed at the hands of Cain, who could not bear his brother’s happiness.”

The root of the vice and sin of envy, he said, “is a false idea of God: we do not accept that God has His own ‘math.’”

As an example, Pope Francis cited the parable from Matthew 20:1-16 about workers hired at different times of the day to work in a vineyard, but the owner pays them all the same.

When those who worked longest protest, the owner says, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?”

“We would like to impose our own selfish logic on God; instead, the logic of God is love,” the pope’s text said. “The good things he gives us are meant to be shared. This is why St. Paul exhorts Christians, ‘Love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor’ (Rom. 12:10). Here is the remedy for envy!”

Pope Francis described vainglory as “an inflated and baseless self-esteem,” which leads to having no empathy and to seeing others only as objects to be used.

The vainglorious person “is a perpetual beggar for attention,” the pope wrote, and when recognition is not given, “he becomes fiercely angry.”

Usually, he said, the remedy for such pride comes automatically when people offer criticism rather than praise.

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

A wise person recognizes, as St. Paul did, that freedom comes from recognizing one’s weaknesses and failures, relying only on God for strength, Pope Francis’ text said.

Papa: “…El coraje de Mártires Cristianos es bendición para todos …”

By Carol Glatz, OSV News

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO (CNS) — Los cristianos que nunca renuncian a su amor por Cristo y son fieles hasta la muerte son una bendición para todos, dijo el Papa Francisco.

“Siempre habrá mártires entre nosotros. Es la señal de que vamos por el camino correcto”, dijo el Papa en un vídeo para la Red Mundial de Oración del Papa, anteriormente conocida como el Apostolado de la Oración, publicado el 27 de febrero.

El Papa Francisco, en una captura de pantalla de un vídeo, pide a la gente que oren para que aquellos que arriesgan sus vidas por el Evangelio puedan inspirar a la iglesia con su valentía e impulso misionero. Para el mes de marzo, la Red Mundial de Oración del Papa está dedicada a los mártires modernos como testimonio de Cristo. (Foto CNS/

La intención de oración del Papa para el mes de marzo está dedicada a los mártires modernos como testigos de Cristo.

“El coraje de los mártires, el testimonio de los mártires, es una bendición para todos”, dijo en su video mensaje, señalando que se estima que hay más mártires hoy que en los inicios del cristianismo.

“Oremos para que quienes, en diversas partes del mundo, arriesgan su vida por el Evangelio, contagien a la Iglesia su valentía, su impulso misionero. Y abiertos a la gracia del martirio”, dijo.

El Papa comenzó el vídeo compartiendo una historia que escuchó de un musulmán sobre su esposa cristiana mientras visitaba un campo de refugiados en Lesbos, Grecia.

Es “una historia que es un reflejo de la Iglesia de hoy. Es la historia de un testimonio de fe poco conocido”, dijo.

Un manifestante sostiene una bandera de Burkina Faso en Uagadugú, capital de Burkina Faso, en 2014. Al menos 15 personas murieron en un ataque de hombres armados contra católicos reunidos para la misa dominical en un pueblo de Burkina Faso el 25 de febrero de 2024. (Foro OSV News/Joe Penney, Reuters)

Dijo que el hombre le contó que unos terroristas se habían enfrentado a ellos “y nos preguntaron cuál era nuestra religión. Vieron a mi mujer con el crucifijo y le dijeron que lo tirara al suelo. Ella no lo hizo y la degollaron delante de mí”.

El Papa dijo que el hombre “no tenía rencor. Se centraba en el ejemplo de amor de su mujer, un amor a Cristo que la llevó a aceptar y ser leal hasta la muerte”.