Francis apologises for losing patience and slapping woman’s hand
Pope Francis apologised last Wednesday for losing his patience with a woman who grabbed his arm in St Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve.
“Many times we lose our patience; me too. I apologise for yesterday’s bad example,” Pope Francis said in a departure from his prepared remarks for the Angelus prayer.
While greeting the crowd in front of the Vatican nativity scene on December 31, a woman yanked the Pope’s arm. Visibly upset, Pope Francis slapped her hand and walked away frustrated.
After his impromptu apology, the Pope said that contemplating the nativity scene helps one to see with the eyes of faith a vision of “the renewed world, freed from the dominion of evil and placed under the royal lordship of Christ, the Child who lies in the manger”.
Christ’s salvation involves the “patience of love,” he said. “Love makes us patient”.
“Dear brothers and sisters, let us descend from the pedestals of our pride – we all have the temptation of pride – and ask the blessing of the Holy Mother of God, the humble Mother of God,” Pope Francis said in his Angelus address.
Sanctity of life must always be upheld, even when sick – Pope
Health care professionals always must “promote the dignity and life of each person and reject any compromise in the direction of euthanasia, assisted suicide or suppression of life, even in the case of terminal illness”, Pope Francis said. “Life is sacred and belongs to God,” the Pope said, “hence it is inviolable, and no one can claim the right to dispose of it freely.”
Pope Francis addressed health care professionals in his annual message for the celebration of World Day of the Sick, which is marked on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
“Jesus does not make demands of those who endure situations of frailty, suffering and weakness, but offers his mercy and his comforting presence,” the Pope said.
Jesus “looks upon a wounded humanity with eyes that gaze into the heart of each person”, he said. “That gaze is not one of indifference; rather, it embraces people in their entirety, each person in his or her health condition.”
Renowned theologian Cardinal Grech dies aged 94
Cardinal Prosper Grech, an internationally renowned theologian, died last Monday at the age of 94.
Cardinal Grech was born on the island of Malta on Christmas Eve, 1925. By 1953 he had completed his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, obtaining his licentiate and doctorate in sacred theology, and went on to receive a further licentiate from the Pontifical Biblical Institute.
In 1961 he was appointed the secretary of Bishop Pietro Canisio Van Lierde, who was a sacristan of the apostolic palace and vicar general for Vatican City State.
Cardinal Grech founded the Augustinian Patristic Institute at the Lateran University, serving as its first president from 1971-1979. He also taught hermeneutics at the Pontifical Biblical Institute for over 30 years.
In 1984 he was appointed as an expert consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In 2003 he was named a member of the Pontifical Theological Academy, and in 2004 he joined the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
He was created a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012, but, being over 80 at the time of Benedict’s resignation, was too old to vote in the conclave of March 2013.