Pope Francis surprisingly visited the Marian Column on Spanish Square yesterday with a "semi-clandestine" action.
(Rome) Pope Francis made two program changes within a short period of time. Both are justified with the corona virus, although they lack consistency.
Just before the recent Cardinal naming became known, first, Pope Francis was to go directly from Santa Marta this year on December 8, not to make the traditional homage to the Mother of God on the Spanish Steps. The reason given was the corona situation. Shortly afterwards, the Vatican press office announced a shortened version of this Marian honor on video, always with the same reason: The Corona situation does not allow any gatherings.
The head of the Church thus received considerable criticism. The homage on this day is one of the few traditional moments of the year when the Pope unites in a special way with the people of Rome. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former apostolic nuncio in the USA, criticized the papal decision in a comment for the daily Libero. The “indifference of too many bishops towards the Virgin Mary” is painful, all the more so is the rejection of the Pope “of the traditional homage to the Immaculate Conception”.
On yesterday's solemn Feast of the Conception of Mary, Francis went to the Marian Column in the Piazza di Spagna early in the morning. The Vaticanist Marco Tosatti spoke of a "semi-clandestine" action. Francis hurriedly let himself be driven in front of the Marian Column, appeared there with a face mask, although there was no popular participation and [other reports say he walked there] he said nothing, laid flowers there and hurried away again. No prayer, no union with the believing people, the Tota pulchra es Maria , one of the oldest Marian prayers in Christianity, was neither prayed nor sung. [He later went to Santa Maria Maggiore to say Mass ad orientem.]
It was not the first time, said Tosatti, that Francis behaved “disrespectfully” towards the Blessed Mother. Last year, he named a "Mischling", to strike a bold bow to the today's migration agenda of the political-economic establishment which should lead as Francis sees humanity as affirmative, in a "Mestizentum".
Tosatti does not accept the reason for the program change:
"If Bergoglio truly fears the risk factor of crowds for Corona infections, why did he take part in the international October 20 Interreligious Meeting at the Community of Sant'Egidio, also in the State House, meeting 'representatives religions and of politics, including Italy's President, the Freemason Sergio Mattarella in the spirit of Assisi? "
After all foreign trips have been canceled, Pope Francis travels to Iraq
In early September, when the corona situation was much less dramatic, according to government data than is currently being claimed, Santa Marta let it be known that Pope Francis will undertake no foreign ravel in 2021. This unusual decision was also justified with the coronavirus.
While the governments of Italy and other states are regulating the upcoming Christmas season with ever stricter measures - in Italy people are not allowed to leave their region, on December 25th and 26th, Christmas Day and St. Stephen's Day, they will not even be allowed to leave their community - Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni (Community of Sant'Egidio) informed the stunned public that Pope Francis would visit Iraq in early March 2021. The journey to a land of persecuted Christians is an important event.
It was said that the travel plans took into account the alleged "health emergency" due to the coronavirus, so a cancellation cannot be ruled out, but the two papal decisions do not really fit together: Why was the cancellation first, then an announcement? Why taking part in a politically correct event at the State House, which seemed like a step on the way to a unified world religion, but a “semi-clandestine” homage to the Mother of God upon a genuinely Catholic festival? Why did the “health emergency” at the beginning of September not allow trips abroad for the whole of 2021, but a trip to Iraq at the beginning of December?
Iraq, the central region of what was once Mesopotamia, has long been a fairly stable country. In the past 40 years, however, it has been torn apart by wars, civil war and religious war. It belongs to those predominantly Islamic areas in which the Christians were still a strong minority at the beginning of the 20th century, whereas today they are threatened with extinction.
1200 years of Islamic rule were less fatal for the country's Christianity than the past 100 years since the Anglo-Saxon powers began to interfere there. The numbers speak for themselves: at the beginning of the 20th century, almost 30 percent of today's Iraqis were Christians. Before the first Iraq war in 1980 there were about ten percent, before the second war in Iraq in 2003 still more than five percent.
Open Doors complained in 2013 that there will be "no more Christians" in Iraq in 2020. It didn't turn out that bad, but almost. The end of the Christian community on the Tigris and Euphrates seems only a matter of time. Were before the start of the Obama operation Arab Spring in Iraq (2014), with its appearance of Jihadi Islamic State (IS) or 2.7 percent of the residents Christians today it is not even one percent. The Vatican itself only speaks of 250,000 Christians.
But Francis does not seem to be traveling to Iraq because of the persecuted and shrinking Christian communities. The main motivation is the "dialogue with Islam". Even the Papal Aid Organization Church in Need, which is familiar with the sad fate of the persecuted Christians, names the "strong interreligious signal" as the main keyword of the planned papal trip.