March 2023: Pope Francis admitted to Rome's Gemelli hospital for lung infection

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March marked the 10th anniversary of Francis' pontificate and began with a symbolic reform: requiring cardinals to pay for their own residence in the Vatican. It was a measure intended to alleviate the Vatican's deficit.

For his monthly intention videos, Pope Francis dedicated March to abuse victims, "especially those committed by members of the Church." In the video, he asked that the victims "be at the center." This means that they should be welcomed and listened to so that in the Church they can find a response to their suffering.

A few days later, the Pope published a new edition of the motu proprio, "Vox estis lux mundi." With it, he strengthened the guidelines in the fight against abuse. He also established a procedure for reporting lay people who may have committed or covered up abuse cases.

During the first Angelus of March, the Pope expressed his sorrow for the deaths of dozens of migrants when a fishing boat sank at the end of February before reaching the Italian coast.

POPE FRANCIS
Let human traffickers be stopped. Let them not continue to dispose of the lives of so many innocent people! May the voyages of hope never again turn into voyages of death! May the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea never again be bloodied by such dramatic incidents! May the Lord give us the strength to understand and mourn.

Pope Francis renewed the Council of Cardinals—the group who advise him on the Church's governing actions. Among its tasks is to counsel the Pope on the reform of the Roman Curia. This is the fifth time the Council has been renewed.

On March 22, the Munich Public Prosecutor's Office closed the investigation against Pope emeritus Benedict XVI for allegedly covering up cases of child abuse during his time as an archbishop in Germany. The court found that there was insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

While the Church was celebrating the news of Pope Francis' 10 year anniversary, the news that shook Rome during March was the Pope's admission to Rome's Gemelli hospital.

He was suffering from a respiratory infection. A couple of days later, as his health improved, Pope Francis visited the children hospitalized in the pediatric oncology ward. He even baptized one of them, little Miguel Angel.

PA
TR: KG

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