Pope Francis leads shortened Easter Vigil
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis celebrated a trimmed-back Easter Vigil on Saturday during a Holy Week in which he put his mark on the church and riled Catholic traditionalists.
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 those 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 has upset traditionalists by including two girls and Muslims during a Holy Thursday ritual in a juvenile detention center.
Traditionalists maintain that the rite is a re-enactment of Jesus washing the feet of the 12 apostles before his death, and thus should be limited to men.
“Given his active support for the charismatic movement in his diocese, one can only be concerned that he could be prepared to ordain women,” Chris Gillibrand, a British commentator, wrote on his blog, CathCon. “How can the pope maintain discipline in the church if he himself does not conform himself to prevailing ecclesiastical legislation?”
On Good Friday, Francis reached out with friendship to “Muslim brothers and sisters” during a procession dedicated to the suffering of Christians from terrorism.
Francis has called for “intensified” dialogue with Islam — a gesture that rubs traditionalists the wrong way because they view such a heavy focus on interfaith dialogue as a sign of religious relativism.
In his homily on Saturday, Francis kept his message simple and tied to the liturgical readings, recalling how Jesus' disciples were surprised and confused by his empty tomb.
“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!”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- United States aided rebels in Caucasus, Russian President Putin claims
- Japan Prime Minister Abe to highlight trade, defense ties with U.S. in speech before Congress
- Israel thwarts terrorist attack
- Airstrikes hit capital as fighting escalates in Yemen
- British Prime Minister Cameron defends royal couple’s private medical care choice
- Employees of Mercer County-based manufacturer among missing in Nepal
- Recuperating ambassador to South Korea, Lippert, vows to be open
- Mexicans pin hopes on anti-corruption measures approved by Congress
- Nepal quake: More than 1,800 dead, history razed, Everest shaken
- Intense aftershocks rattle Nepal
- Senior officials are toppled in China’s anti-graft campaign