Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the tomb of his sainted predecessor, John Paul II, on the occasion of the centenary of the Polish pope's birth. For the first time since the pandemic started, the general public was admitted into St. Peter's Basilica, but with sanitary protocols observed.
Pope Francis gives the homily at Mass at the tomb of St. John Paul II in St. Peter's Basilica May 18, 2020, the 100th anniversary of the late pope's birth. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
Gerard O’Connell May 18, 2020
Francis celebrated the centenary Mass at the altar on the tomb of St. John Paul II. And for the first time since the national lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, he celebrated in the presence of over 100 people.
Gerard O’Connell May 16, 2020
Pope Francis asked the group to ‘prepare the future’ not ‘prepare for the future.’
In a letter commemorating the centenary of Pope Saint John Paul II's birth, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reflects that John Paul sought to spread the message that "God's mercy is intended for every individual" and that the late pope was no "moral rigorist" that some have portrayed him as being.
Msgr. Slawomir Oder, the postulator for the sainthood cause of Pope John Paul II, has said recently that he had found no evidence that the late pope ever covered up cases of sexual abuse scandals.
In anticipation of opening Rome's churches for celebration of public Masses, the Italian army and city sanitation authorities are sanitizing the sacred spaces in order to keep the public safe.