Pope Francis at Lenten retreat © Osservatore Romano (KNA)
Pope Francis and his curia returned to the Vatican at noon Friday. They had spent five days in a religious house near Rome, meditating on texts by the Italian poet Mario Luzi.
At the conclusion of the retreat, Pope Francis thanked Florentine Abbot Bernardo Francesco Gianni for his impetus during the days of reflection. It had once again become clear to him and his staff how and where traces of God were evident in people and their lives today.
Questions of meaning and Christian motives
The abbot's meditations were guided by texts by Italian poet Mario Luzi (1914-2005). The latter, alienated from Catholicism, constantly dealt with questions of meaning and Christian motives. Over large parts Gianni's thought-provoking ideas had reminded him of the Council document "Gaudium et spes", the Pope said in conclusion.
This constitution of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) had perhaps met with the most resistance and continues to do so today.
Since 2014, the Curia's leadership has regularly gone to an ecclesiastical house of formation in Ariccia, overlooking Lake Albano, at the beginning of the Easter penitential season. On Wednesday, Francis had celebrated there the sixth anniversary of his election as pope. Francis resumes official appointments Saturday when he receives South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.
Visit by Cardinal Barbarin
On Monday morning, Francis will receive the Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who reportedly plans to offer the pope his resignation. Last week, Barbarin was sentenced to six months probation by a Lyon court for failing to report sexual assaults.