"In this moment, we want to implore (God's) mercy for a humanity so sorely tried by the coronavirus pandemic.
We do it together, Christians of every Church and Community, of every tradition, of every age, language and nation," he said from the Vatican on Wednesday (March 25).
In an introduction to the Our Father, which is also known as "The Lord's Prayer," he said it was also for "the sick and their families, health workers and those who assist them, for authorities, police forces and volunteers, for the (religious) ministers of our communities." When he announced the prayer initiative on Sunday (March 22), Francis invited all other Christian leaders and individual faithful to pray simultaneously at noon Italian time (1100 GMT).
The 83-year-old Francis prayed from inside the Vatican, where he has been holed up for the past few weeks.
Francis implored God for national reconciliation and peace. He called the death of George Floyd tragic, and said he was praying for him and all those who had been killed as a result of the "sin of racism".
Pope Francis presided at an outdoor prayer service in the Vatican on Saturday, with about 130 people in attendance. According to Reuters, it was the largest gathering there in nearly three months. Most wore masks except for when they led prayers at the microphone. Francis, 83, sat several meters away from most people during most of the service. He did not wear a mask. The Pope prayed that the Madonna would touch the consciences of world leaders to divert arms expenditures to pandemic research.
Pope Francis inaugurated the full reopening of St. Peter's Basilica on Monday, as elsewhere Romans enjoyed drinking a morning cappuccino and eating fresh croissants in public as the country continued to reopen.
A few churches in Kochi have decided to remain shut in view of the spread of COVID-19. Churches under Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese would not offer services till June 30 in Kerala, according to an official statement. "This decision has been taken in view of the spread of COVID-19 in the areas under its jurisdiction," said Archbishop Antony Kariyil, the Metropolitan Vicar of the Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese. Father Jerome Chamanikodathu said that the opening of churches amid COVID-19 could lead to more disaster. "Earlier we were asking for the opening of churches. However, amid COVID-19 opening of churches could lead to more problems. Therefore, it has been decided not to open St. Francis Xavier's church, St. Sebastian's church and St. Antony's church in Kochi and we will wait till June 30," said Fr. Jerome Chamanikodathu, Vicar of St. Francis Xavier's church under Roman Catholic Church-Archdiocese of Verapoly.
An Australian inquiry into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and other institutions found former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell was aware of child sex abuse and failed to take steps to get the priests removed. Emer McCarthy reports.
The Vatican has started to disinfect St Peter's Basilica as it prepares to welcome worshippers back for masses from May 18. It is not yet known when Pope Francis will next preside over mass in person, although the pontiff has been live-streaming masses since March. The Vatican has confirmed 12 cases of Covid-19 among its residents and staff.
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 00:34Published
A silent demonstration was held infront of the United Nations Office in Geneva alongside Broken Chair to raise a voice in solidarity to eradicate the malicious blasphemy law and forced conversions in Pakistan. The ongoing mistreatment of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan is an issue of immense importance that nevertheless still receives scant attention from the UN or international human rights organisations. Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan have been treated as second-class citizens, their constitution legally bars religious minorities from high government offices. The country's Christian community continues to suffer discrimination, intolerance and instances of outright persecution. Religious places like churches have become an easy target for Christian persecution. According to the protesters, Christians, Hindus, and other religious minorities in the Islamic Republic are routinely subjected to multiple forms of discrimination and harassment. In 2020, Pakistan has ranked fifth on the Open Doors USA World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith.
Bodies often arrive at night in Iraq's only cemetery specifically for those who have died of COVID-19, in the southern Shi'ite holy city of Najaf. Volunteers, in full protective suits, wash and wrap the corpses in burial shrouds before putting them back in the coffins. Soraya Ali reports.
Pope Francis held a special prayer vigil on Thursday night in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Catholics all over the world joined the Pope in praying the rosary to ask God to end the coronavirus..