(Source: CD/Vatican News)

The Vatican announced on Wednesday that as of September 2 Pope Francis’ Wednesday General Audiences will once again take place with the participation of the faithful.

Following the hygiene directives issued by the competent authorities, the audiences for the month of September will be held in the Apostolic Palace’s San Damaso Courtyard, the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household confirmed in a press release.

The statement says that attendance at these General Audiences “is open to anyone who wishes” to participate. It also notes that no ticket is necessary and that it begins at 9:30 am.

The bronze door under the right colonnade of St Peter’s Square will serve as the entrance to the Courtyard.

People wishing to attend will be allowed to enter beginning at  at 7:30 am.

A new cycle of catecheses on healing the world post-COVID-19

After a break in July, Pope Francis began August 5 a new series of catecheses in his Wednesday General Audiences on, as he put it, “the pressing questions that the pandemic has brought to the fore, social ills above all”, and that much “in the light of the Gospel, of the theological virtues and of the principles of the Church’s social doctrine”.

In that first address on healing the world post-coronavirus, the pontiff enumerated a series of Catholic ideas “that can help us move forward in preparing the future that we need”.

Those ideas mentioned by the Pope included “the principle of the dignity of the person, the principle of the common good, the principle of the preferential option for the poor, the principle of the universal destination of goods, the principle of the solidarity, of subsidiarity [and] the principle of the care for our common home”.

“The pandemic has highlighted how vulnerable and interconnected everyone is. If we do not take care of one another, starting with the least, with those who are most impacted, including creation, we cannot heal the world”, the Pope then warned August 12 in his second catechesis on the Church’s social doctrine in the light of COVID-19.

August 19 the Bishop of Rome pleaded for “an economy where people, and especially the poorest, are at the centre”, and warned that “it would be sad if, for the vaccine for COVID-19, priority were to be given to the richest”.

The Pope also cautioned that day that it would be “a scandal” if economic bailouts post-coronavirus “were to focus on rescuing those industries that do not contribute to the inclusion of the excluded, the promotion of the least, the common good or the care of creation”.

Perhaps the Pope’s most prophetic words to date on the coronavirus crisis, however, came today, August 26, when he deplored that “the pandemic has exposed and aggravated social problems, above all that of inequality”.

That inequality which sees “a few rich people possess more than all the rest of humanity” reveals a “social illness”, Francis denounced: “a virus that comes from a sick economy”.

“And we must say it simply: the economy is sick”, the Pope decried, adding that the world of finances today “has become ill. It is sick. It is the fruit of unequal economic growth – this is the illness: the fruit of unequal economic growth – that disregards fundamental human values”.

Follow on Novena each Wednesday the Pope’s General Audiences:

26/8: In General Audience, Pope deplores “sick” economy, “the fruit of unequal growth that disregards fundamental human values”

19/8: General Audience: Francis pleads for cure for “virus” of social injustice, inequality and marginalisation

12/8: In General Audience, Pope implores: “If we do not take care of one another, starting with the least, we cannot heal the world”

5/8: General Audience: Pope calls for “creative and renewed spirit” to “transform roots of our physical, spiritual and social infirmities”


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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.