Pope skips Palm Sunday homily

Published March 25, 2024
Pope Francis greets the crowd from the popemobile at the end of the Palm Sunday mass at St Peter’s square in the Vatican on March 24, 2024. — AFP
Pope Francis greets the crowd from the popemobile at the end of the Palm Sunday mass at St Peter’s square in the Vatican on March 24, 2024. — AFP

ROME: Pope Francis, at the last minute, skipped reading his homily during a Palm Sunday Mass for tens of thousands of people in St Peter’s Square.

It is very unusual for a pope to totally skip a homily at a major event such as Palm Sunday, which marks the start of Holy Week, a busy period leading to Easter.

In recent weeks, the 87-year-old pope has been suffering on and off from bronchitis and influenza and has delegated an aide to read his addresses for him, but on Sunday his prepared text was not read at all. The Vatican gave no immediate explanation for why the pope skipped the homily.

An announcer on Vatican Radio then said the pope had decided to not read the homily. However, the pope, dressed in red vestments, continued presiding, reading parts of the Mass and was driven around the crowd in a popemobile.

The clerics, along with participants held palm fronds and olive branches at the service.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2024

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