Pope focus on children in Covid-19 shadowed Easter service

Photo: AP

Pope Francis for a second year kept up with pandemic restrictions and presided at a scaled back “Way of the Cross” service held in an empty St. Peter’s Square on Friday, Reuters reported. The Pope took time to listen as children recounted their fears and dreams. Candles in the form of a huge cross dotted an empty St. Peter’s Square as only some 200 people took part, sitting on either side of the Pope immediately in front of St. Peter’s Basilica.

The opening comments, written in the form of a child’s dialogue with Jesus, recalled children who go without food or education or are forced to be soldiers. It also mentioned the embarrassment children feel when they wet the bed, sadness when parents fight, and the fear of telling an adult a dark secret for fear of not being believed, which appeared to be a reference to sexual abuse. Earlier on Friday, Francis prostrated himself on the floor of an empty St. Peter’s Basilica to pray at a “Passion of the Lord” service. Francis is due to say an Easter vigil Mass on Saturday and on Easter Sunday, the most important day in the Christian liturgical calendar, he delivers his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message.

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