ROH APRIL 2020 | 2020 CFCUSA Pastoral Formation Materials
April 11, 2020
Dear CFC USA Family,
Blessed Easter greetings!
The Urbi et Orbi address and blessing is the most solemn form
of blessing in the Catholic Church and is reserved for the most solemn occasions. These occasions include Easter, Christmas and the proclamation of a newly elected pope concluding a conclave. The Urbi et orbi blessings are usually given from the central loggia
of Saint Peter`s Basilica in Rome, at noontime, and are broadcast worldwide. The address concludes with greetings in many languages in relation to the feast celebrated.
The Roman Catholic Church grants a plenary indulgence by the willful grace and intent of the Pope, on the usual conditions, to those who “devoutly receive” the blessing that the Pope imparts, the “Urbi et Orbi”. Gaining a plenary indulgence requires that a baptized Roman Catholic must also exclude any attachment to sin. This indulgence is granted not only to the people in Saint Peter`s Square, but, also to those who though unable to be physically present, “piously follow” it by radio or television.
In the current condition, this is now extended to all who receive the papal blessings over the Internet (“the new communications medium”), since the blessing is preceded by an announcement usually by a Cardinal Protodeacon. The Pope grants a plenary indulgence in the form laid down by the Church to all the faithful present and to those who receive his blessing by radio, television and the new communications media.
On March 27, 2020, Pope Francis stood in the empty St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Italy in order to address the Covid-19 pandemic affecting all of us around the whole world. During solemn times like
these, the Pope gives a papal address and apostolic blessing known as Urbi et Orbi, which is Latin for “to the city [of Rome] and to the world”.
In his speech, the Pope reiterates to Rome and the rest of the world that it is easy for us to feel lost and afraid of the unknown, however, now is the time to trust in the Lord and His plan more than ever. The Pope references the Gospel according to Mark 4: 35-41, which alludes to the story in which Jesus and His disciples are caught in a storm while at sea. While the disciples are anxious and afraid, Jesus is calm and asleep, and when He wakes up, He calms the storm, and asks the disciples, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?”
Similarly, during this time, the Pope seems to ask us this same question. Why are we afraid? Do we have no faith? Like the disciples on the boat, we are afraid, lost, and panicked because we do not know what will come out of the Coronavirus situation. However, Jesus Christ, through the work of the Pope, is calling us to put our full trust in Him, and know that His unconditional love for us will continue to pour out light and hope in our lives despite the storm that we are all facing together.
In Philippians 4:6-7. Our Lords assures us, “Do not be anxious
about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Let us ask our Almighty God to grant the Pope many years as leader of the Church and peace and unity to the Church throughout the world. Let us also continue to pray for one another including our loved ones and our beloved community. God bless and a Blessed Easter to all!