The Pope mingles with the crowd and kisses the hand of the newly ordained priest – all without wearing a face mask – at the Vatican
- The Pope has gone without a mask to the general public the first Wednesday since they resumed September 2
- The 83-year-old today kissed one of his brothers on the hand, chatted intimately with newlywed brides, and posed for selfies as the faithful crowded around their leader in the Paul VI Hall in Vatican City.
- A limited audience was seated in a socially distant seat, but huddled close together to get the chance to talk to Francis
Pope Francis mingled with his flock and kissed the hand of a newly ordained priest while he was not wearing a mask during a service today.
The 83-year-old pope has gone without a face cover since his resumption in early September during his Wednesday general audiences at the Vatican.
Francis posed for selfies with followers, chatted intimately with newlywed brides, and kissed the hand of one of his brothers as he walked among the crowds in the Paul VI hall.
The restricted congregation sat in a socially distant seat, but huddled together for a chance to greet the head of the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis kisses the hand of a newly ordained priest in Paul VI Hall on Wednesday for his weekly General Audience
83-year-old pope wipes his face while talking to a member of the flock whose mask hangs around her chin
Francis blesses newlyweds wearing protective masks at General Audience – weekly sermons resumed in early September after a pause due to the coronavirus pandemic
The Pope will talk warmly to newlyweds among the general public on Wednesday
Loyal Catholics crowd around the Pope in the Vatican City hall on Wednesday
The sermon, given inside because of the rain, was on the theme of prayer that the Pope said was not about locking yourself in a room without God ‘to make up your soul – that’s not a prayer, that’s fake prayer ; to pray is to face God and let him send you to help a brother or sister. ‘
Francis recalled the story of Elijah, a prophet whose faith was sustained by prayer despite great adversity.
Francis said that Elijah “shows us that there should be no dichotomy in the lives of those who pray: one stands before the Lord and goes to the brothers and sisters to whom He sends us. The proof of prayer is the true love of the neighbor. ‘
On Sunday, Pope Francis published his third encyclical, an open letter to the patriarchs, primates, archbishops and bishops entitled Fratelli Tutti (‘All Brothers’), which offered guidance in a world going through the coronavirus crisis.
In one passage he discussed the “throwaway world” in which we live, in which we focus too much on the individual and let the elderly put aside and point them to “a sad and lonely existence.”
The Pope wrote: ‘We have seen what has happened to the elderly in certain places in our world as a result of the corona virus. They didn’t have to die like that. Yet something similar had long been happening during heatwaves and in other situations: the elderly were cruelly abandoned.
“We do not realize that by isolating the elderly and leaving them to the care of others without the closeness and concern of family members, we are disfiguring and impoverishing the family itself. We also end up depriving young people of the necessary connection to their roots and a wisdom that the young cannot achieve alone. ‘
Francis greets believers all wearing protective masks at the General Papal Audience, Paul VI Hall, Vatican City
The Pope inspects a piece of jewelry that was handed to him by an elderly woman on Wednesday
A nun with her mask draped around her chin takes a selfie a few feet from the Pope as the faithful crowd surrounds
Pope Francis is cheered by believers as he arrives at the Paul VI Hall on the occasion of his weekly General Audience at the Vatican on Wednesday.
Francis arrives Wednesday to attend the General Audience at the Paul VI Hall in Vatican City
Francis arrives to attend the General Audience at the Paul VI Hall in Vatican City
Francis will be surrounded by his followers on Wednesday
Pope Francis shakes hands with cardinals as he arrives at the general public in the Paul VI Hall
The Pope’s weekly audience resumed on September 2, the first since March due to the coronavirus.
On last Wednesday, visitors had their temperature checked before entering the venue and the audience is limited to 500.
It is not clear whether the temperatures were checked today, but photos showed that masks were not used by everyone.
The Pope arrives accompanied by the guards with the commander of the Swiss guards Christoph Graf and the commander of the gendarmerie corps and director of the Security Services Directorate Gianluca Gauzzi Broccoletti
Many were still close to the Pope as he greeted his followers, there was a socially spaced seat