Vatican City, Apr 28, 2020 / 02:30 am America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis prayed that Christians would respond to the lifting of lockdown restrictions with “prudence and obedience” as he celebrated Mass Tuesday.
Speaking from the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta, his Vatican residence, April 28, he said: “At this time, when indications have been given to exit out of quarantine, we pray the Lord will grant to His people, all of us, the grace of prudence and obedience to these indications, so that the pandemic does not return.”
The pope was speaking two days after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte unveiled plans for a gradual easing of lockdown measures. The Italian bishops strongly criticized Conte for not setting a date for the resumption of public Masses.
In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the martyrdom of St. Stephen, described in the Acts of the Apostles (Act 7:51-8:1). He noted that, like Jesus, Stephen was falsely accused of blasphemy as a pretext for his execution.
There is a pattern, he said, seen in the Bible and down to our present age, which begins with false testimony in order to arrive at “doing justice.”