Papal almoner issues extraordinary appeal to Vatican churchmen for coronavirus offering

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, and others listen listen as Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with refugees who recently arrived from the Greek island of Lesbos in December 2019. (CNS photo/Stefano Dal Pozzolo) 

The papal almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, has made an extraordinary and unprecedented appeal to “the cardinals, archbishops, bishops and prelates” of “the papal chapel” to make an offering in solidarity that Pope Francis can use to address “the health emergency” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cardinal Krajewski invited these churchmen to “participate in the sufferings of all those who are enduring trial” because of the coronavirus “by giving an offering” and in this way “to be intimately united and in a special way with the Pontiff, the Bishop of Rome, who presides in the universal communion of charity.”

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He told them that Pope Francis “will decide on the destination of their charitable offering.”

Cardinal Krajewski invited these churchmen to “participate in the sufferings of all those who are enduring trial” because of the coronavirus “by giving an offering.”

The Vatican made the announcement of this appeal in a communique on April 6 to the international media, explaining that “because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the liturgical celebrations of this Holy Week will take place without the presence of those who make up ‘the papal chapel,’” referring to those who are authorized by papal decree to participate in the papal liturgies.

While “the papal chapel,” as defined in the motu proprio of Paul VI in 1968, “Pontificalis Domus,” includes all the cardinals, patriarchs and prelates, two Vatican sources, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak, told America that the almoner intended to refer only to those in Rome, in other words, the cardinals, archbishops, bishops and monsignors currently in office in the Roman Curia as well as those who have retired, a total of some 250 persons.

Their participation in the papal liturgies is a sign of communion with the pope, but the papal almoner invited them to show their communion with the pope through this special offering.

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