Friday, 22 January, 2021


Pope has first public audience in 6 months

Pope holds first public audience in months - The Irish News Pope has first public audience in 6 months
Kristine Garrett | 05 September, 2020, 16:10

Pope Francis has called for a worldwide day of prayer and fasting for Lebanon tomorrow, Friday, 4 September.

"One month after the tragedy that struck the city of Beirut, my thoughts turn once again to Lebanon and its people, so sorely tried", the Pope said in a speech, stressing that Lebanon could not be "abandoned in its solitude".

"Faced with the repeated tragedies that each of the inhabitants of this land knows, we realise the extreme danger that threatens the very existence of this country".

Faithful listen to Pope Francis, the white figure sitting at center right, during his general audience Wednesday at the San Damaso courtyard, at the Vatican, the first since February when the coronavirus pandemic began.

Entrance to Wednesday's audience was free, with face masks and social distancing.

There was a rush to meet the pope by attendees as he entered the courtyard.

Always without a facemask, the pope kept his distance before succumbing slightly by the end of the ceremony, when he blessed three married couples, shook hands with some cardinals and took a Lebanese priest by the arm.

"After all these months, we are resuming our face-to-face and not screen-to-screen meetings", a smiling pope told the audience.

"For the good of the country and the world, we can not let this legacy be lost", he said, alluding to the long-drawn crisis in the country.

Francis said he was heartened that consciences were being raised about the situation's urgency, and he pledged that the Roman Catholic Church he leads will fully commit to caring for humanity's "common home".

"While the conditions of the planet can appear catastrophic, and certain situations appear even irreversible, we Christians cannot lose hope", Francis said.

The Bible and ecological conversionWith regard to this ecological conversion, Pope Francis went on to say, the Bible teaches us that the world was not born of chaos or chance, but of a decision of God Who made it out of love.

"I renew my call to the worldwide community to support the country so that it can come out of this serious crisis", the pope said.

The Maronite clergyman, whose Eastern Catholic Church is based in Beirut, also thanked the pope for "saying that we can not continue to live like this in Lebanon".

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