Pope Francis at Mass yesterday in Santa Marta where there are more empty spaces
(Rome) Whenever Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass in Santa Marta, pictures of it are published. So also yesterday, when he once again blamed the Catholic priests for something that does not exist. In the house chapel of the Vatican guest house, since the beginning of his pontificate, the Holy Mass has been celebrated at seven o'clock in the morning.
It is noticeable in the pictures that relatively few to very few believers are present. This observation is more and more frequent. The participation in a Holy Mass celebrated by the Pope is an extraordinary privilege. Catholics would be in queues of thousands if they had the opportunity to participate.
In the spring of 2015 various media, referring to the Vatican, reported that there were "too many requests" to participate in the morning celebrations. Franca Giansoldati wrote on 23 April 2015 in Il Messaggero:
"The Pope's Mass in Santa Marta is overbooked. There are not even enough chairs."
Neither the early morning hours nor the security controls would deter them.
"Of course, the Pope wants to let everyone in. He often goes against the gendarmes and the other employees, who try to contain and order the massive current. But even Pope Francis must bow to the good will, to the rules, because all the many people who write to him every day and ask for a place (also standing room) to listen to his sermon and participate in the liturgical celebration, would not even fit into St. Peter's. The current has grown slowly, continuously, unstoppably. The inquiries come from everywhere, from small, remote villages of Northern Italy as well as from inaccessible areas of the Amazon jungle. In short, it is a planetary phenomenon."
Is it because of the high safety standards? A screened off pope, however, does not really fit the role of the office. This is quite independent of the Pope, who is the ruler, but less so to a pontificate, which openly preaches "openness". Is it possible to manage the "current" in the organizational inability of the competent authorities in the Vatican? Or is it due to the invitation policy of the papal inner circle to leave only selected people close to the pope by means of exclusive access criteria?
We do not know and ask.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi Photo: Vatican Radio (Screenshot)