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Vatican. Pope Francis did not read the homily during Palm Sunday Mass. The Vatican refuses to answer questions

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Pope Francis skipped reading the homily during Palm Sunday Mass at the last minute. According to commentators, this is the result of prolonged health problems. Reuters points out that it is extremely rare for the head of the Church to skip a sermon during such an important event. When journalists asked the Vatican for explanations, they were told that no reason would be given for the decision to resign from the homily.

At the mass in St. Peter's Square – where, according to the Vatican gendarmerie, 60,000 people gathered – the pope spoke in a weakened voice. The Palm Sunday Mass, commemorating Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, began in the square in front of the Vatican Basilica with a procession of olive branches and palm trees. Then fragments of the Gospel were read, and then the mass continued – without the papal homily.

Reuters reminds that the 87-year-old pope has been suffering from bronchitis and flu in recent weeks and has delegated an aide to read his speeches. This time the prepared text of the homily was not read at all. According to commentators, this is the result of his prolonged health problems. And Reuters points out that it is extremely rare for the head of the Church to skip a sermon during such an important event.

Vatican variation of the answer

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Journalists asked the Vatican to explain this extraordinary situation. They received information in response that the reason for the decision to resign from the homily would not be given.

During the mass, the television broadcast for several minutes showed only the crowd, instead of a close-up of the pope. Then – according to Reuters – the announcer of Vatican Radio said that the Pope decided not to read the homily. The pope, dressed in red robes, continued his presidence, reading excerpts from the mass.

The Pope's health problems

Due to a knee problem, for over a year, Francis has been sitting near the altar during Mass, while the cardinals act as the main celebrants.

Read also: Pope Francis' health problems. “I can't read the speech”

The Pope has had problems with his voice for three weeksReuters

Francis on 'despicable terrorist attack'

Addressing the faithful before the final Angelus prayer, the Pope said: – I assure you of my prayers for the victims of the despicable terrorist attack that took place the day before yesterday evening in Moscow. May the Lord welcome them in His peace and comfort their families.

– And let him convert the hearts of those who (…) organize and carry out these inhumane actions that offend God who commanded: you shall not kill – he added.

He then called: – Let us pray for all brothers and sisters who suffer because of the war. I am thinking in particular of tortured Ukraine, where many people are without electricity as a result of intense attacks on infrastructure, which are causing death and suffering and carrying the risk of an even greater humanitarian catastrophe.

– Please, let's not forget about tortured Ukraine. And let us also think about Gaza, which is suffering greatly, and about so many other places where there is war, he appealed. The Pope read this text before praying the Angelus with a clearly weakened voice.

At the end of the mass, he drove around the sectors full of believers and greeted them for a long time.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA

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