This morning, the Holy Father celebrated Mass with the Melkite Greek Patriarch of Antioch, calling it a sign of the Apostolic Communion between the Latin- and Eastern-rite Churches within the universal Church.
Instead of delivering a homily, the Pope spoke about the importance of today's celebration in front of several members of the Melkite Greek Synod were present. “This Mass with our brother, Patriarch Youssef,” the Pope said, “confirms our Apostolic Communion: He is the father of a very ancient Church, and he comes to embrace Peter, and say, ‘I am in communion with Peter.’” The Melkite Greek Church, “is a rich Church with its own theology, within Catholic theology and, with its own marvellous liturgy”.
Pope Francis continued to state that this Mass, “ is being celebrated for the people of the Melkite Greek Church, for the people who suffer, and for persecuted Christians in the Middle East, who give up their lives, goods, and property because they are driven out.” Pope Francis said he also offered Mass for the ministry of “our brother Youssef”.
It was 5 years ago on February 11th, 2013 that Pope Benedict left the world speechless with the announcement of his resignation. Two days later, at his General Audience, Pope Benedict XVI repeated his resignation and provided the world with more details, as everyone was still trying to make sense of the initial announcement.
It was Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office at the time, who was given the difficult job of trying to explain it to the world through Social Media, in what he describes as the single most significant event in his 25 years of service under three Popes.
I fortunately was given the chance to interview Fr. Lombardi about the historic world event, and here is what he had to say: (Watch video for full footage)
Moreover, the Archdiocese of Edmonton has just released funeral details for Retired Archbishop Emeritus Fr. Joseph MacNeil.
This event will take place this wee, beginning Thursday afternoon at St. Joseph Basilica with Mass presided by Archbishop Richard Smith, followed by a viewing and vigil prayers. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated the following day at 12:00pm, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery.
The Archbishop who led the Archdiocese of Edmonton for 26 years, unfortunately passed away on Sunday; and is fondly remembered as 'a man who was as comfortable with Popes and priests as with the students at the high-school', which is named after him. He passed at 93 years of age.
That is all that for today. Join us again tomorrow, when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspective of a Catholic Lens.