Pope Francis to celebrate Holy Thursday with prisoners
Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper with prisoners in Velletri, about 36 miles south of Rome. The Pope will celebrate the Mass and the foot-washing ritual at the Velletri Correctional Facility on April 18, the Vatican announced last week.
The late-afternoon visit will include a meeting with prisoners, prison staff, police and local leaders, as well as an exchange of gifts with the head of the facility.
The Pope is to wash the feet of 12 prisoners, the Vatican said.
Pope Francis has made it a tradition to celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass with people who could not come to the Vatican or the Basilica of St John Lateran for the celebrations.
In his first year as Pope in 2013, he chose a juvenile detention facility to celebrate Holy Thursday. The next year he washed the feet of people with severe physical handicaps at a rehabilitation center. That was followed by men and women detainees at Rome’s Rebibbia prison in 2015, refugees in 2016, inmates at a jail in the Italian town of Paliano in 2017, and prisoners at Rome’s ‘Regina Coeli’ jail in 2018.
Religions join together in promoting dignity and peace, Pontiff says
Reflecting upon his recent apostolic journey to Morocco, Pope Francis said that God desires a greater sense of fraternity among Catholics and Muslims as “brother children of Abraham”.
“Some may ask, ‘But why does the Pope visit the Muslims and not only the Catholics?’” Pope Francis said in St Peter’s Square. “With Muslims, we are descendants of the same father, Abraham,” he said. “What God wants is fraternity between us in a special way,” he added, noting that this was the motive behind his travels.
Pope Francis offered thanks to God that his trip to the Moroccan capital of Rabat March 30-31 was “another step on the path of dialogue and encounter with our Muslim brothers and sisters”.
On his first day in Morocco, Pope Francis signed an ‘Appeal for Jerusalem’ with the Moroccan King Mohammed VI. The joint-declaration called for Jerusalem to be preserved as a “peaceful place of meeting for the three monotheistic religions”, the Pope explained.
Religions have the essential role of “defending human dignity and promoting peace, justice and care for creation, that is our home common”, Francis said.
Vatican upholds verdict after archbishop appeals abuse allegations
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have announced that, following an appeal, the Vatican’s court has upheld last year’s verdict finding an archbishop in Guam guilty of abuse of minors.
A release from the CDF on April 4 said that Archbishop Anthony Apuron (73), was found “guilty of delicts against the Sixth Commandment with minors”. The decision, made February 7, is considered final.
Archbishop Apuron was sentenced to privation of the office of Archbishop of Agana and forbidden from using the insignia attached to the rank of bishop, such as the mitre and ring. He is also forbidden from living within the jurisdiction of the archdiocese. He was not removed from ministry or from the clerical state, nor has he been assigned to live in prayer and penance.
Archbishop Apuron was in March 2018 found guilty of “certain” unspecified charges and he immediately filed an appeal.
Having been found guilty of sexual abuse of minors, the penalty levelled against him is unusual – often a cleric found guilty of such crimes would be removed from the clerical state.