Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Swiss Guards march in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Pope Francis appeals for countries to achieve net zero carbon emissions

Pope Francis and various religious leaders from across the world appealed last Monday for countries to “achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible”.

The plea was made on October 4 in a joint message signed in the Vatican’s Hall of Benediction.

The 2,000-word appeal, which was signed by almost 40 faith leaders, called for “wealthy countries” to display greater impetus in the face of rapid climate change. “The world is called to achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible, with wealthier countries taking the lead in reducing their own emissions and in financing emission reductions from poorer nations,” they outlined in the document, which was presented to both Alok Sharma, president of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, and Italy’s foreign minister Luigi Di Maio.

They had gathered at the Vatican for the meeting, “Faith and Science towards COP26”, promoted by the British and Italian embassies to the Holy See. The summit brought together religious leaders and scientists ahead of the climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12. Pope Francis indicated earlier this month that he hoped to attend the conference in Glasgow, but he will now be represented by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the event.


Three Swiss guards resign over newly-enacted Vatican vaccine mandate

Three Swiss Guards have quit after refusing to comply with the Vatican’s Covid vaccine policy and three other guards have been suspended until they become fully vaccinated.

The Pontifical Swiss Guard, who provide protection to the Pope, has required all 135 guards to get a Covid vaccine.

Lt Urs Breitenmoser, a spokesman for the Swiss Guard, informed sources that three guards left on a “voluntary” basis.  “Three members of the Guard have chosen not to adhere to that request, voluntarily leaving the corps,” he stated.

The policy comes after Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, incumbent president of Vatican City State, previously intimated that the regulations were being implemented at the request of Pope Francis, who asked the authorities “to take all appropriate measures to prevent, control and combat the ongoing public health emergency in the Vatican City State.”

However, the new rules stipulate that Catholics going to Mass or Confession in St Peter’s Basilica, or in other churches on Vatican territory, will not need to have the Covid pass.


Pope Francis encourages all religious traditions to suppress ‘temptation to fundamentalism’

Pope Francis asked leaders of world religions to resist “the temptation to fundamentalism” for the sake of peace at an interreligious gathering Thursday in front of the Colosseum

The event, titled “Peoples as Brothers, Future Earth. Religions and Cultures in Dialogue”, was the 35th event promoted by the Sant’Egidio Community.

Speaking on a stage together with Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu representatives, Pope Francis appealed for peace amid the world’s current crises and conflicts. “Peace summons us to serve the truth and declare what is evil when it is evil, without fear or pretence, even and especially when it is committed by those who profess to follow the same creed as us,” the Pope said.

“For the sake of peace, please, in every religious tradition let us defuse the temptation to fundamentalism and every tendency to view a brother or sister as an enemy.”

Advocating for more worldwide equitable practices, the Pope stressed for “Fewer arms and more food, less hypocrisy and more transparency, more vaccines distributed fairly and fewer weapons marketed indiscriminately”, to take precedence in the world’s nations.