Pope Francis celebrates Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Saturday, April 15, 2017. (Daniel Ibanez/CNA)
The group, concerned about evils and the current situation within the Church, will meet for a prayer vigil near the tomb of St. Peter on Oct. 5
Lay faithful from across Italy are expected to gather in a piazza near St. Peters basilica next week to pray for the Church as she faces a catalogue of challenges, oneswhich the event organizers have included in a prayer list.
Recalling Cardinal Joseph Ratzingers words in 2005 excoriating the filth in the Church, and his later words on the terrifying sin and persecution from enemies within the Church, the organizers wish to draw attention to the extent of the current evils ranged within the body of the Church and to urge the faithful to pray for her.
The Church is living through her Passion, one of the vigils organizers calledFather Giuseppewrote in a letter to Vaticanist Marco Tosatti that was later reported in the Italian dailyIl Tempo.
Titled Lets Pray for the Church!, the prayer vigil is scheduled to take place at 2.30pm on Oct. 5, in Largo Giovanni XXIII an open space, usually the location for media on special occasions, at the far end of Via della Conciliazione, the central boulevard leading to St. Peters Square(the event has aFacebook pagehere). The Pan-AmazonSynod runs Oct. 6-27 at the Vatican.
The organizers point out that Benedict wished to remind the faithful that there are men in the Church who are not of the Church, do not belong to her, and who indeed work more than anyone else for her destruction. And they warn that such people will one day become the majority, according to St. Pauls prophecy in his Second Letter to the Thessalonians.
We, a group of Catholic friends, both lay and consecrated, therefore want to pray together with all those who wish to join us as close as possible to the tomb of St. Peter, where the popes, with few exceptions, have always desired to reside, they explain in their publicity.
Referring to Benedicts comments above, they also stress the initiative is not an anti-Pope Francis event because the origins of the current challenges long pre-date his election. Even the last two years of [Benedicts] pontificate were, for believers, ones of intense suffering, wrote Father Giuseppe, and the obstacles placed in his path by declared or hidden enemies were evident to all.
The organizers and participants will be asking for 10 graces during the prayer vigil. These include praying that those involved clerical abuse scandals not be promoted but removed from leadership positions; that the deposit of faith not be adulterated; that the Church be courageous in preaching the Gospel; and that she avoid acting like sociologists, political scientists, climatologists and logists of every kind.
They will also call on the Lord for the grace so that the non-negotiable principles are taught and the inviolability of life upheld, that love for Creation not be confused with paganism or pantheism, and that people are reminded that ones country is a mother for each person but defense of identity has nothing to do with nationalism or other aberrations.
The organizers will also pray to listen to the cry from the church in Africa and Eastern Europe, for Chinese Catholics, and the persecuted throughout the world.
The public prayer vigilis meant as a sign of hope, says Francesco Agnoli, one of the events participants. In the midst of so much confusion, there is a small flock in addition to some cardinals that is calling for an end to the storm.
October 5, 2019 in Rome, largo Giovanni XXIII, 2:30pm
Lets Pray for the Church!
It was Good Friday 2005, and then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would soon become Pope, declared these unmistakable words: How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him!... (Stations of the Cross, IX station).
Once he became Pope, Benedict XVI travelled to Fatima. During an inflight press conference, on May 11, 2010, he told journalists who had asked about the Virgins message: The sufferings of the Church come precisely from within the Church, from the sin that exists in the Church today we are seeing it in a truly terrifying way: that the greatest persecution of the Church comes not from her enemies outside, but arises from sin within the Church.
As cardinal and as Pope, Benedict wanted to remind us that there are men in the Church who are not of the Church, who do not really belong to her, and who indeed work more than anyone else for her destruction; the villains and hypocrites who are in the Church, St. Augustine said in De Civitate Dei [The City of God], will one day become the majority, according to the prophecy of St. Paul in the Second Letter to the Thessalonians.
We, a group of Catholic friends, both lay and consecrated, therefore want to pray together with all those who wish to join us as close as possible to the tomb of St. Peter, where the popes, with few exceptions, have always desired to reside. We are asking God for these graces:
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