An estimated 30,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square yesterday to join the Pope recite his weekly Angelus prayer, and listen to his reflection based on the day's Gospel about Jesus healing a leper.
Yesterday, the Church celebrated World Day of the Sick. Pope Francis commemorated this day by saying that “No disease makes a person impure; only sin does that." And “while being sick can impact a person's whole being,” he said, "it in no way impairs or impedes one's relationship with God. In fact, a sick person can be even more united to God,"."Sin is what makes us impure - selfishness, pride, corruption. These are the diseases of the heart which must be purified by turning to Jesus like the leper did: 'If you wish, you can make me clean.'"
Pope Francis asked the crowd to take a moment of silence to think about "your own impurities, your own sins," and then, in silence, tell Jesus, "If you wish, you can make me clean." Every time someone goes to confession with a repentant heart, Jesus responds as he did to the leper, "Yes. Be made clean."
After reciting the Angelus prayer, the Pope was joined at the window of his study by two young adults. One handed him a tablet, as he announced that the registration for World Youth Day in Panama is now officially open.
Our friends from the World Youth Day committee, have this report.
For more information, details and to register your group, you can visit the official World Youth Day site.
Yesterday marked another landmark moment in the life of the Catholic Church and in the life of the world. It was on February 11th, 2013, exactly 5 years ago, that Pope Benedict shocked the entire world and courageously announced his resignation, making him the first Pope since 1451, to step down from the seat of Peter.
It was 17 days later on February 28th, that Pope Benedict officially left the Vatican, giving way to the 2013 Conclave, that began on March 12th and ended a day later with the election of Cardinal Bergoglio from Argentina, as the 266th pontiff of the Catholic Church: Pope Francis.
We should never forget that many of the changes and reforms currently underway under Pope Francis’ leadership, actually began with Pope Benedict, especially two areas that have been a source of scandal for the church: money and clergy abuse.
Some very sad news coming from the Archdiocese of Edmonton. Yesterday, Alberta’s Catholic community lost a beloved pastor and friend, with the death of Archbishop Emeritus of Edmonton, Archbishop Joseph MacNeil at the age of 93.
Archbishop MacNeil was instrumental in arranging the visit of St. Pope John Paul II to Edmonton in 1984 when the Pope launched a 12-day pastoral visit to Canada, making him the first Pope to set foot on Canadian soil.
Although he officially retired in 1999, Archbishop MacNeil continued to serve his community and helped fill in for Archbishop Richard Smith at official functions and presiding at Confirmations, to animating retreats and celebrating Mass at schools.
Archbishop MacNeil passed away at the Grey Nuns Hospital in Edmonton, after suffering a stroke. He was a great supporter of Salt and Light over the years, and his friendship will be sorely missed.
Funeral details have yet to be announced, but we will let you know as soon as they become available.
That is all that for today. Join us again tomorrow, when we bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic Lens.
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