This morning the Archbishop of Bombay led the Way of the Cross in the cathedral. The relic is a gift from the city of Brescia and the family of Paul VI. Maharashtra is the Indian state most affected by the coronavirus outbreak with 1,364 cases and 97 deaths.
Francis celebrated the ‘In Coena Domini” Mass in an empty St Peter’s Basilica, except for a dozen people present. “Nobody knows their names”. They are “anonymous priests, country parish priests who know the locals. One told me that he knew the names of all the people in the village. ‘Really? I said to him.’ Even the dogs. [. . .] Today I carry you all to the altar.”
The Pope will not celebrate the chrism mass today, instead it will take place once the crisis is over. There will be Mass in Coena Domini, but without the washing of the feet. Tomorrow, the Via Crucis will be in St. Peter's square. During the Holy Saturday Vigil, at 9 pm, no baptisms will be celebrated. At Easter he will pronounce the message Urbi et Orbi and impart the Easter blessing before the altar of confession.
In the story of the Passion, the answer to the question "what is God doing" in the face of the pandemic. "Let us not forget that the cross is the chair of God. It will do us good to look at the Crucifix in silence and see who our Lord is." “Easter tells us that God can turn everything to good. That with Him we can truly trust that everything will be fine ".
Without his intervention 120 families would starve. The village mosque had refused to distribute aid to Christians. Shakeel Ahmed rescued them by contacting some Catholic organizations. With the coronavirus quarantine, a lot of day workers lose their jobs.
“They pretend to serve God to serve money. They are the hidden exploiters who are socially flawless, but under the table they do business, even with people: it doesn't matter. Human exploitation is selling one's neighbor."
The Archbishop of Colombo calls on Catholics to comfort the sick and those who lost their jobs. This is a great show of charity during the Easter period: helping everyone, Catholics and others, without showing off. The country lacks a food distribution system during emergencies. The government quarantine is making it hard to hand out aid.
A statement from the Holy See. Cardinal Oswald Gracias said "certain from the outset" of the acquittal. The Archbishop of Bombay said he believed the accusations were "absurd".
“Let us each think of this, as part of the people of God: we are servants, our vocation is to serve, not to take advantage of our place in the Church. To serve. Always in service."
In 2018, the cardinal was sentenced to 6 years in prison. As soon as he was acquitted he said he had "suffered from a profound injustice", but also that he had no "ill will" towards his accuser and that he did not want to add to the "hurt and bitterness" so many feel. In all these years, the Vatican has always maintained the presumption of innocence for Card. Pell.
Refugees live crammed, without adequate health care. Rohingya Christians face even more dangers. Caritas is providing funds, information leaflets, masks and disinfectant. Humanitarian organisations are calling for greater press freedom and a stop to the construction of a barbed wire fence.
Some “charitable or humanitarian organizations that have many, many employees, with a structure full of people and only about 40% of donations make it to the poor because 60% goes to pay many salaries. This is a way of taking money from the poor."
The pandemic emergency, far from under control, forces priests to celebrate mass without the people. On the night of the resurrection the tomb in Jerusalem was dominated by the same silence and lack of participants. The world resembles one great tomb that puts our pretension to happiness at all costs with its back to the wall. The announcement of the resurrection in empty churches needs prophets to bring this hope to the global grave.
In the Land of the Rising Sun, the measure affects large centers. Singapore quarantines 20,000 migrants. In Indonesia, there are fears that official estimates cover only 2% of actual infections. Surge in cases in India and Pakistan. Russia and Saudi Arabia postpone meeting for agreement on oil production.