VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said that the coronavirus lockdown made him feel imprisoned but ultimately led him to find different ways to carry out his ministry.
In an interview with Italy’s Canale 5 broadcast Jan. 10, the pope was asked how his daily routine changed once COVID-19 restrictions prevented public events at the Vatican.
“First of all, I have to tell you I was caged up,” he said. “But then, I calmed myself and I took life as it came. One prays more, one talks more, one uses the telephone more, one has meetings to resolve problems.”
He also said that while the pandemic has affected his life, “I am happy.”
Pope Francis recalled his mini-pilgrimage March 15 to pray before an ancient wooden crucifix known as the “Miraculous Crucifix,” first carried in procession by the faithful in Rome in 1522 during the great plague.
That pilgrimage, as well as the extraordinary blessing “urbi et orbi” March 27, were “expressions of the pain felt, expressions of love for all people and to show new ways to help each other,” the pope said.
The pope also spoke about the COVID-19 vaccine and said that receiving the vaccine was “the ethical option because you are playing with your health, life, but you also are playing with the lives of others.”
The pandemic, he continued, forced the cancellation of a planned trip to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia “because in good conscience, I can’t be the cause for gatherings, no?”
Pope Francis said that although his visit to Iraq is scheduled for March, he did not know “if it will happen; life has changed.”
“Yes, life has changed,” the pope said. “But the Lord always helps us all.”
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103