Pope Francis celebrates funeral Mass for cardinals and bishops

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04/11/2021
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Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the 17 cardinals and 191 bishops who died in the past year. He was wearing red vestments, the color of pontifical mourning.

It's a moving ceremony for the Pope, as many of the departed, especially the cardinals, were once his close advisors.

Pope Francis noted that some of them died because of the coronavirus, in the middle of complicated situations that made their suffering worse. That's why he reflected on pain.

POPE FRANCIS
'In front of the challenges and problems of life, it is difficult to have patience and remain calm. Irritation moves in and often leads to discouragement. That can result in our feeling strongly tempted by pessimism and resignation.'

The Pope said that God accompanies people in their suffering. He explained that God's role is that of a father, not of a genie who fixes problems.

POPE FRANCIS
'God accompanies us especially through pain, like a father who raises his children well, remaining close to them in challenges, without taking their place. And before our faces are covered in tears, emotion has already reddened the eyes of God our Father. He cries before we do, I dare say.'

The Pope also urged the elderly not to give in to the bitterness caused by life's disappointments.

POPE FRANCIS
'It is awful. It is awful to reach old age with a bitter heart, with a disappointed heart, with a heart that is critical of new things. It is very hard.'

Pope Francis said that suffering is an opportunity for inner purification that can help a person grow.

Among those present was the Holy See's Secretary for Relations with States, Abp. Paul Richard Gallagher; Cardinals Giuseppe Bertello and Gianfranco Ravasi; and the Pope's Almoner, Card. Konrad Krajewski.

JRB

TR: CT

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