The Times West Virginian

World News

March 31, 2013

Pope presides over trimmed Easter Vigil service

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis celebrated a trimmed back Easter Vigil service Saturday after having reached out to Muslims and women during a Holy Week in which he began to put his mark on the Catholic Church.

Francis processed into a darkened and silent St. Peter’s Basilica at the start of the service, in which the faithful recall the period between Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday.

One of the most dramatic moments of the Easter Vigil service that usually follows — when the pope would share the light of his candle with others until the entire basilica twinkled — was shortened this year as were some of the Old Testament readings.

The Vatican has said these provisions were in keeping with Francis’ aim to not have his Masses go on too long. The Easter Vigil service under Benedict XVI would typically run nearly three hours. The new pope has made clear he prefers his Masses short and to the point: he was even caught checking his watch during his March 19 installation ceremony. Saturday was no different: The vigil ended just shy of 2.5 hours.

A trimmed-back vigil — and one that started earlier than usual — was just one of the novelties of this Holy Week under an Argentine Jesuit pope who just two weeks ago stunned the world by emerging from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica after his election with a simple “Brothers and sisters, good evening.”

He riled traditionalists but endeared himself to women and liberals by washing and kissing the feet of two young girls during a Holy Thursday Mass at a juvenile detention center in Rome, when the rite usually calls for only men to participate. A day later, Francis reached out with friendship to “Muslim brothers and sisters” during a Good Friday procession dedicated to the suffering of Christians from terrorism, war and religious fanaticism in the Middle East.

In his homily Saturday, Francis kept his message simple and tied to the liturgical readings, recalling how Jesus’ disciples found his tomb empty a day after his death and were surprised and confused.

“Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness, and that is where death is,” he said. “Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life!”

He later baptized four men, part of the Easter Vigil ritual.

Just a few hours after the vigil ends, Francis on Sunday will celebrate Easter Mass and deliver his “Urbi et Orbi” speech, Latin for “To the city and the world.” Usually the pope also issues Easter greetings in dozens of languages.

In his two weeks as pope, Francis’ discomfort with speaking in any language other than Italian has become apparent. He has even shied away from speaking Spanish when the occasion would call for it, though the Vatican has said he has done so to avoid discriminating against other languages by favoring his native tongue.

Italian is the lingua franca of the Vatican and Francis has emphasized his role as bishop of Rome over that of pope of the universal church, making his use of Italian logical.

It’s not clear how Francis will handle the multilingual greetings Sunday.

Typically, after the busy Easter week ceremonies, the pope would go to the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo for a few days of vacation. Francis can’t do that since the previous pope, Benedict XVI, is currently living there in retirement.

The Vatican has said Francis would stay put in the Vatican.

———

Follow Nicole Winfield at www.twitter.com/nwinfield

 

1
Text Only
World News
  • Obama offers Europe, Mideast allies assurances

    From the heart of Europe to the expanse of Saudi Arabia’s desert, President Barack Obama’s weeklong overseas trip amounted to a reassurance tour for stalwart, but sometimes skeptical, American allies.
    At a time when Obama is grappling with crises and conflict in both Europe and the Middle East, the four-country swing also served as a reminder that even those longtime partners still need some personal attention from the president.

    March 30, 2014

  • New objects seen, but no evidence of jet

    A day after the search for the Malaysian jetliner shifted to a new area of the Indian Ocean, ships on Saturday plucked objects from the sea to determine whether they were related to the missing jet. None were confirmed to be from the plane, leaving searchers with no sign of the jet three weeks after it disappeared.

    March 30, 2014

  • Security forces storm protester-held Egypt mosque and round up hundreds

    Egyptian security forces stormed a Cairo mosque Saturday after a heavy exchange of gunfire with armed men shooting down from a minaret, rounding up hundreds of supporters of the country’s ousted president who had sought refuge there overnight after violent clashes killed 173 people.

    August 18, 2013

  • Hundreds reported killed as Egypt smashes protests

    In Egypt’s bloodiest day since the Arab Spring began, riot police Wednesday smashed two protest camps of supporters of the deposed Islamist president, touching off street violence that officials said killed nearly 300 people and forced the military-backed interim leaders to impose a state of emergency and curfew.

    August 15, 2013

  • Seven Saudis among militants killed by drones

    At least seven suspected militants from Saudi Arabia were among the alleged al-Qaida members killed in Yemen in a recent wave of U.S. drone strikes, senior Yemeni officials said Friday, suggesting that Saudis are increasingly crossing the border to carry funds or seek terrorist training.

    August 10, 2013

  • Yemen terror boss left blueprint for waging jihad

    A year before he was caught on an intercept discussing the terror plot that prompted this week’s sweeping closure of U.S. embassies abroad, al-Qaida’s top operative in Yemen laid out his blueprint for how to wage jihad in letters sent to a fellow terrorist.

    August 10, 2013

  • U.S. sharply escalates its drone war in Yemen

    The U.S. has sharply escalated its drone war in Yemen, with military officials in the Arab country reporting 34 suspected al-Qaida militants killed in less than two weeks, including three strikes on Thursday alone in which a dozen died.

    August 9, 2013

  • Nine Afghans killed in attack on Indian consulate

    Three suicide bombers tried to attack the Indian consulate in an eastern Afghan city on Saturday, sparking a shootout with guards on a bustling downtown street that left at least nine civilians dead, official said.

    August 3, 2013

  • U.S. diplomat in Egypt holds talks with rival sides

    Egypt’s Interior Ministry warned supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi on Saturday for a second time to abandon their protest camps as a senior U.S. diplomat met with officials on both sides of the country’s political divide.

    August 3, 2013

  • In Egypt bloodshed, dozens of Morsi supporters are killed

    Security forces and armed men clashed with supporters of Egypt’s ousted president early Saturday, killing at least 65 people in mayhem that underscored an increasingly heavy hand against protests demanding Mohammed Morsi’s return to office.

    July 28, 2013

Featured Ads
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads