Pope Francis calls for solidarity at first audience with pilgrims after lockdown
In his first Wednesday audience with pilgrims since Italy’s lockdown, Pope Francis has called for solidarity to reawaken unity and bring God’s love to a suffering world.
“In the midst of crises and storms, the Lord challenges us and invites us to reawaken and activate this solidarity capable of giving solidity, support and meaning to these hours in which everything seems to be wrecked,” Pope Francis said September 2 in the San Damaso Courtyard within the Vatican’s apostolic palace.
Safety precautions were put in place to ensure that the pilgrims entering Vatican City for the papal audience maintained social distancing.
After a temperature screening and walk through a metal detector, pilgrims entered the apostolic palace through the great bronze door and proceeded up a flight of stairs to arrive at the courtyard.
By 8.30 a.m., the courtyard’s 500 spaced-out seats were full and a few seats were added to accommodate pilgrims arriving later.
When Pope Francis entered, he took his time greeting those standing next to the aisles. After the audience, he continued to greet and speak with masked pilgrims for around 30 minutes.
Cardinal Parolin to ESOF2020: faith helps science promote human development
“Science and faith can come to see one another as sisters carrying out a fundamental service for the whole of society.” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, made that remark on Wednesday in his speech at the opening of Euroscience Open Forum 2020. The biennial event, which is being held in the Italian city of Trieste, unites Europe’s leading scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers to debate the direction of scientific research.
In his address, Cardinal Parolin expressed the Church’s dedication to advancing the dignity and development of the human person in dialogue with the sciences. He said the interchange between the two is fundamental for confronting the “urgent questions that threaten the peaceful coexistence of humanity”.
Humanity risks “remaining adrift, without a goal in sight” if it neglects the “profundity of reality offered by science” and the “deep human yearning for something greater”.
Conversion of humanity ‘necessary to heal the earth’ – Pontiff
“There will be no new relationship with nature without a new human being, and it is by healing the human heart that one can hope to heal the world from its social and environmental unrest.”
Those were Pope Francis’ prepared remarks to ecological experts gathered on Thursday, who are collaborating with the Bishops of France on the theme of Laudato Si’.
The Pope emphasised that we are all part of a single human family, living in a common home which is experiencing “disturbing degradation”.
The Pope welcomed the fact that “the issue of ecology is increasingly permeating the ways of thinking at all levels and is beginning to influence political and economic choices, even if much remains to be done and even if we are still witnessing too slow and even backward steps”.
Concluding his address, the Pope renewed his encouragement to the group to protect the environment.
“While the conditions on the planet may appear catastrophic and certain situations seem even irreversible, he said, “we Christians do not lose hope, because we have our eyes turned to Jesus Christ”.