God-willing this’ll be the last blog post on a lonely little folder of my PC. The website is going online soon!
Yesterday I went to the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Francis and a lot of people (see the photos). I had a special mission (something for my family) that has to stay top secret for now, but it had also been a while since I’d gone to a General Audience. One of the dangers of Rome is that you can take these things for granted. The audience takes a little longer than just reading it afterwards, but you don’t have the same visible experience of communion as the Holy Father teaches, and greets, and blesses in various languages and the participants respond enthusiastically.
Due to time constraints I couldn’t adopt the optimal audience strategy: come early, get in line, and stake out a good spot for when the Popemobile passes by; I had to leave as soon as he was finished with the spoken part of the audience. Due to a slight train delay I arrived just after the audience started: the Gospel being meditated on is read to the crowds in the most representative languages of those attending. The Square was full, with a little space near the entrance.
The Holy Father continued his catecheses on the family by speaking about the need for communion in man and a reciprocity between man in woman, in addition to the complementarity between the sexes that he had spoken about the previous week (where he questioned the wisdom of gender theory and attempts to ignore the legitimate differences between men and women). Men and women needed each other and society needs good marriages to help good families: “The social devaluation of the stable and generative alliance of man and woman is certainly a loss for all.”
Pope Francis is a pope you have to see, if not in person, at least in video. By his smile and his presence you just feel a grandfatherly warmth as he speaks. At the end of the audience all those participating received his blessing, which he extended to our family members as well (so everyone in my family who reads this: you received a Papal blessing).