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French Catholic bishops win appeal against 30-person Mass limit

Rome Newsroom, Nov 30, 2020 / 10:00 am (CNA).- The French Council of State has ruled that a proposed 30-person limit on Masses and other forms of public worship is a “disproportionate” government measure and must be modified by Dec. 2.

The country’s Catholic bishops welcomed the decision Nov. 29, saying in a statement that “reason has been recognized.”

The bishops’ conference had submitted the urgent legal appeal with the administrative court two days prior, declaring that they had “a duty to ensure freedom of worship in our country.”

With its ruling, France’s highest administrative court gave Prime Minister Jean Castex three days to propose an alternative protocol to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at places of worship.

The prime minister met with a delegation of French bishops Sunday night to discuss a new gauge for the resumption of public Masses after France’s strict second lockdown. 

The bishops had originally proposed a protocol of reopening public liturgies at a third of each church’s capacity, with increased social distancing.

“I found the prime minister to be fair after the decision of the Council of State,” Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the French bishops’ conference, said after the hour-long meeting, according to France Bleu radio network.

France’s minister of interior and director general of health were also present at the meeting at the prime minister’s residence, as well Bishop Dominique Blanchet of Belfort-Montbéliard, Bishop Olivier Leborgne of Arras, Archbishop Dominique Lebrun of Rouen, and Bishop Stanislas Lalanne of Pontoise.

Moulins-Beaufort said: “It went well. We told the prime minister that his brutal decision could have hurt some people. He understood it well.” 

Moulins-Beaufort, the archbishop of Reims, has been a primary point of contact in the bishops’ negotiations with the French government since public Masses were suspended on Nov. 2. 

On the night that the 30-person limit for the resumption of Masses was announced, Nov. 24, Moulins-Beaufort spoke on the telephone with President Emmanual Macron to communicate the French bishops’ disappointment.

France has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 2.2 million recorded cases and over 52,000 deaths as of Nov. 30, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Catholics in Paris have begun a novena, which will end on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, to pray for an end to the coronavirus pandemic. They are asking for the intercession of St. Denis, St. Genevieve, St. Louis, St. Vincent de Paul, and other saints of the country known as the “Eldest Daughter of the Church.”

With the 30-person limit overturned, some Catholic churches resumed Sunday Masses Nov. 29 with an online system to reserve a spot at Mass. 

In a homily in the Cathedral of Saint-Étienne in Toulouse, Fr. Simon d’Artigue said: “It is not in Mr. Macron or Mr. Castex … that we put our hope because they will always disappoint us.”

43 Catholic priests have died in Italy’s 2nd wave of coronavirus

Rome Newsroom, Nov 30, 2020 / 04:00 am (CNA).- Forty-three Italian priests died in November after contracting the coronavirus, as Italy experiences a second wave of the epidemic.

According to L’Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, 167 priests have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in February.

One Italian bishop also died in November. A retired auxiliary bishop of Milan, Marco Virgilio Ferrari, 87, died Nov. 23 from the coronavirus.

At the beginning of October, Bishop Giovanni D’Alise of the Diocese of Caserta died at age 72.

Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, president of the Italian bishops’ conference, was critically ill with COVID-19 earlier this month. He is continuing to recover after testing negative last week.

Bassetti, the archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve, spent 11 days in intensive care in a hospital in Perugia, before being transferred to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital to continue his convalescence.

“In these days that have seen me go through the suffering of the contagion from COVID-19, I have been able to experience the humanity, the competence, the care put in place every day, with tireless concern, by all the personnel,” Bassetti said in a message to his diocese Nov. 19.

“They will be in my prayers. I also carry with me in memory and in prayer all the patients who are still in the moment of trial. I leave you with an exhortation of comfort: let us remain united in the hope and love of God, the Lord never abandons us and, in suffering, he holds us in His arms.”

Italy is currently experiencing a second wave of the virus, with more than 795,000 positive cases, according to the Italian health ministry. Almost 55,000 people have died from the virus in the country since February.

New containment measures were introduced at the beginning of the month, including regional lockdowns and restrictions such as curfews, shop closures, and no dining-in at restaurants and bars after 6 p.m.

According to national data, the curve of the second wave is on the decline, though experts report that in some regions of Italy infections numbers have not yet peaked.

In April, bishops across Italy visited cemeteries to pray and offer Mass for the souls of those who had died from COVID-19, including priests.

French bishops launch second legal appeal to reinstate public Masses for all

Rome Newsroom, Nov 27, 2020 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- The French bishops’ conference announced Friday that it would submit another appeal to the Council of State, calling a proposed 30-person limit on public Masses during Advent “unacceptable.”

In a statement issued Nov. 27, the bishops said that they “have a duty to ensure the freedom of worship in our country” and therefore would file another “référé liberté” with the Council of State regarding the latest government coronavirus restrictions on Mass attendance. 

A “référé liberté” is an urgent administrative procedure that is filed as a petition to a judge for the protection of fundamental rights, in this case, the right to freedom of worship. The Council of State both advises and judges the French government on its compliance with the law.

French Catholics have been without public Masses since Nov. 2 due to France’s strict second lockdown. On Nov. 24, President Emmanuel Macron announced that public worship could resume Nov. 29 but would be limited to 30 people per church. 

The announcement elicited a strong reaction from many Catholics, including several bishops.

“It is a totally stupid measure that contradicts common sense,” Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris said Nov. 25, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro. 

The archbishop, who practiced medicine for more than 20 years, continued: “Thirty people in a small village church, we understand, but in Saint-Sulpice, it’s ridiculous! Two thousand parishioners come to certain parishes in Paris, and we're going to stop at 31 … It’s ridiculous.”

Saint-Sulpice is the second largest Catholic church in Paris after the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. 

A statement issued by Paris archdiocese Nov. 27 argued that the government measures could have “easily have allowed the resumption of Mass in public for all, while applying a rigorous health protocol and guaranteeing the protection and health of all.”

In addition to filing the “référé liberté,” a delegation of French bishops will also meet with the prime minister on Nov. 29. The delegation will include Archishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the French bishops’ conference.

The French bishops’ initial appeal earlier this month was rejected by the Council of State on Nov. 7. But in response, the judge specified that churches would remain open and that Catholics would be able visit a church near their homes, regardless of distance, if they carried out the necessary paperwork. Priests would also be allowed to visit people in their homes and chaplains permitted to visit hospitals.

France has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than two million recorded cases and over 50,000 deaths as of Nov. 27, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Following the Council of State’s decision, the bishops proposed a protocol of reopening public liturgies at a third of each church’s capacity, with increased social distancing.

The bishops’ conference statement asked French Catholics to abide by the government’s rules while the outcome of their legal challenge and negotiations are pending. 

In recent weeks Catholics have taken to the streets in major cities across the country to protest against the public Mass ban, praying together outside their churches.

“May the use of the law help to calm the spirits. It is clear to all of us that the Mass cannot become a place of struggle … but remain a place of peace and communion. The first Sunday of Advent should turn us peacefully to the coming Christ,” the bishops’ statement said.

‘My Jesus’: Martyred Italian nun saw Christ in young people

Rome Newsroom, Nov 27, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- A religious sister who knew Venerable Maria Laura Mainetti said the woman, who was murdered 20 years ago as part of a Satanic ritual, made the ordinary extraordinary by her love, and found joy in her service to young people, whom she called “my Jesus.”

The 60-year-old Mainetti was stabbed to death by three teenage girls in the town of Chiavenna, Italy, in 2000. In May, Pope Francis declared Mainetti to be a martyr, killed “in hatred of the faith.” She will be beatified on June 6, 2021, the 21st anniversary of her murder.

Mainetti was a sister of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross for more than 40 years, where she knew Sr. Beniamina Mariani, who is her biographer and the postulator of her beatification cause.

Mariani told ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language partner, that Mainetti “lived in humility, simplicity and joy the gift of herself to God and to her brothers and sisters.”

The postulator described Mainetti’s day as “a continuous relationship in prayer, at the beginning and at the end of the day and with those whom she called ‘my Jesus’: children, young people, people in difficulty.”

In her biography of the slain religious sister, Mariani wrote that when she was among young people, Mainetti felt “at ease and loved to entertain them both in scheduled meetings and in casual ones.”

Mariani shared the statements of two young students who knew Mainetti when they were guests of the Immaculate Institute, a residence for girls.

One wrote that “in her hands, the ordinary day-to-day became like GOLD because she LOVED it. She was attracted to Jesus because she saw him.”

Another said: “In a terrible time when I had no family, she was the only person who loved me, looked after me ... she spent the nights beside my bed, while I was crying in despair, she never abandoned me, she believed in me.”

Mariani said when Mainetti was young, her answer to a spiritual director’s question about what she wanted to do with her life was “I want to make my life something beautiful for others.” And the postulator confirmed that she really did this.

Sr. Mainetti was always smiling, Mariani said, noting that someone in Chiavenna used to call her “Sr. Smile.”

“She was a happy woman!” she continued, adding that the sister’s message to young people would be: “I am very happy, above all because every day I discover God’s love for me, despite my limitations, and then I try to see it in the faces of my brothers and sisters whom I meet every day, with particular attention to the more disadvantaged or those in difficulty.”

Mainetti was a “small, humble grain that silently turned into a vibrant tree, under whose branches many people, the most different, will find comfort,” Mariani said.

Artist offers to restore beheaded statue of Virgin Mary in Germany

Rome Newsroom, Nov 27, 2020 / 10:20 am (CNA).- An art restorer in Germany has offered to restore a decapitated statue of the Virgin Mary in Regensburg free of charge.

Known as the “doll doctor” for his work restoring dolls, Marcel Offermann said that he was moved by the news on Oct. 22 that vandals had beheaded a statue of the Virgin Mary in a Jesuit church in Straubing, Germany.

“Since I repair dolls, sacred figures, and statues by trade, I decided to preserve the Madonna from the fate of Mary Stuart and restore it to its original state,” Offermann said in an interview with ACI Stampa Nov. 27.

“I immediately called Mgr. Johannes Hofmann, parish priest of St. James in Straubing, to whom the statue belongs. Now we are in constant contact. He seemed very relieved when I offered to repair the statue.”

Offermann, a Catholic from the German city of Neuss, also works as an emergency room doctor and has been treating COVID-19 patients during the coronavirus pandemic. 

While a job like this does not leave him with much spare time, he said that, for him, offering to repair the statue was “a matter of conscience.”

“For more than 20 years, in my ‘doll clinic,’ I have been restoring and repairing sacred figures or nativity statues throughout the archdiocese of Cologne and beyond. For me, it’s a matter of conscience,” he said.

Offermann plans to work on the decapitated statue during the Christmas season to have it ready for the new year.

“First, we will dry the statue,” he explained. “The figure will stay a week in the drying chamber to remove the moisture from the material. Then we will remove the chips and grind each piece. Then we will fix the head using brackets.”

“We will fill the interstices with plaster. We will file any protrusions of the applications and we will work the whole structure, even Mary’s dress. … Finally, we will apply a base coat and after it has dried, we will apply two or three layers of color. Lastly, a passage of transparent fixative.”

Hate crimes against Christians and Catholic churches are once again on the rise in Europe. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe published data last week documenting more than 500 hate crimes against Christians in Europe in 2019.

In Germany, Catholic churches have been targeted with anti-Christian graffiti and arson attacks.

On Nov. 26, another statue of the Virgin Mary in a public square in Venice was decapitated overnight. 

The local parish is organizing a community rosary to be prayed at the statue on Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

“Believers and all people of goodwill should reflect and distance themselves from those who, out of superficiality and ignorance, or by deliberate choice, offend the dearest feelings of those who live and inhabit our city with them,” the Catholic Patriarch of Venice, Francesco Moraglia, said.

Patriarch of Venice calls for prayers of reparation after Virgin Mary statue decapitated

Rome Newsroom, Nov 27, 2020 / 09:00 am (CNA).- A statue of the Virgin Mary in a public square in a suburb of Venice, Italy, was vandalized Thursday night.

“The head was decapitated and the hands of the monument lopped off” in the early hours of Nov. 26, according to a notice from the City of Venice.

The statue is located in a greenspace at the center of a roundabout in the Venice municipality of Marghera. The act was caught on video surveillance cameras and the perpetrator has been identified and stopped by police.

Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, called the act of vandalism “a gesture that offends our city, our history and our values.”

Brugnaro condemned the “cowardly act, which aims to hurt our sensibility” and said that workers had been instructed to quickly repair the statue.

In March, the mayor visited Venice’s Basilica of Our Lady of Health to say a prayer consecrating the city to the Virgin Mary. The prayer was written by the Catholic Patriarch of Venice, Francesco Moraglia.

Moraglia said Nov. 26 that he was saddened by the vandalism of the Mary statue, calling it an offensive gesture “not only for Christians but for the whole city.”

He also noted that the damage to the statue took place a few days after the feast day of Our Lady of Health, “a festival so dear and rooted in the hearts of Venetians.”

Moraglia asked people to say a prayer of reparation “for the offense inflicted on the Mother of the Lord and also for those who have become protagonists of this insane gesture.”

The local parish is organizing a community rosary to be prayed at the statue on Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

“Believers and all people of goodwill should reflect and distance themselves from those who, out of superficiality and ignorance, or by deliberate choice, offend the dearest feelings of those who live and inhabit our city with them,” the patriarch said.

Cardinal Schönborn deplores attack on rabbi in Vienna

CNA Staff, Nov 27, 2020 / 06:00 am (CNA).- Cardinal Christoph Schönborn deplored Friday an attack on a rabbi in the Austrian capital, Vienna. 

Writing on his Twitter account Nov. 27, the archbishop of Vienna said: “I am dismayed by yesterday’s attack on a rabbi in the middle of Vienna. I assure our fellow Jewish citizens of my complete solidarity. Anti-Semitism must have no place among us. It endangers the peaceful coexistence of us all.”

The Associated Press reported that a woman in her 50s confronted the rabbi with a knife on Thursday afternoon. She kicked him in the leg, knocked off his hat, then tore off his skullcap. Before running away, she shouted an anti-Semitic threat.

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz condemned the attack.  

“We must fight anti-Semitism with all determination. Jewish life in Austria must be possible in safety. For a Europe without Jews is no longer Europe,” he wrote on Twitter Nov. 26.

The Jewish community’s presence in Vienna dates back to at least the 12th century. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the city was one of world’s most important centers of Jewish culture.

The community was destroyed during the Holocaust. A 2001 census reported that around 7,000 of Vienna’s 1.9 million residents were Jewish, compared with more than 200,000 in the 1920s.

Thursday’s incident followed a terror attack in the Austrian capital on the night of Nov. 2. A gunman opened fire in the city center, near Vienna’s main synagogue, killing four people and wounding 23 others. 

In a Nov. 3 interview with the national public service broadcaster ORF, Schönborn urged Austrians not to respond to the killings with hatred. 

“To this blind hatred, hatred can be no answer,” he said. “Hatred only fuels new hatred.”

Vatican diplomat: Lockdowns revealed ‘glaring contradiction’ in attitudes towards migrants

CNA Staff, Nov 26, 2020 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- Coronavirus lockdowns revealed a “glaring contradiction” in attitudes towards migrants, a Vatican diplomat said Thursday.

Addressing the Council of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva, Switzerland, Nov. 26, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič said that migrants were both resented and relied upon as essential workers amid the pandemic. 

“It is regrettable that, while migrants’ labor is in high demand and welcomed to compensate for labor shortages, they also are often rejected and subjected to resentful, utilitarian attitudes by many in receiving societies,” he said. 

“This sad reality is a glaring contradiction that stems from placing economic interests over the interests of the human person. This tendency became particularly evident during the COVID-19 ‘lockdowns,’ where many of the ‘essential’ workers most affected were migrants.”

Jurkovič, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, noted that Pope Francis said that migrants can be a gift to society in his new encyclical, “Fratelli tutti.” 

The Slovenian archbishop expressed concern about a recent rise in child migrants, many of whom are separated from their families.

“This is of particular concern for the Holy See and should sound as an alarm bell for the whole international community,” he said, urging governments to adopt policies that prioritize the best interests of migrant children “at all times and at all stages.”

He also highlighted the need to increase access to healthcare for migrants and for countries to cooperate in caring for internally displaced people.

Jurkovič concluded: “As Pope Francis has said, the world will emerge either better or worse after the pandemic. What is certain is that migration will be playing an ever-increasing role in our societies. Therefore, now is the time to rethink the parameters of human coexistence through the lenses of human fraternity and solidarity.” 

“In this regard, the successful integration of migrants is essential if they are to make their meaningful contributions to our societies, cultures and to economy. At the same time, integration is a two-way process and presupposes that those who arrive are also open to integration, respecting the culture and values of their new home, neighbors and country.”

A day earlier, the archbishop addressed the Second Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Geneva. In his speech, Jurkovič noted that the Holy See was among the first states to sign the 2008 convention, which forbids the use, transfer and stockpiling of cluster bombs.

He welcomed new signatories of the treaty, but lamented that the international community was “still far behind” the goal of increasing the number of parties to the convention to 130, set five years ago.

“What is even more regrettable and concerning, however, is the fact that cluster munitions continue to be used in some conflicts today, inevitably giving rise to new victims and contamination,” the archbishop said Nov. 25.

He argued against any steps that would undermine a commitment to “universalization” of the convention. 

He said “the Holy See wishes to take this occasion to renew its appeal to all states outside the convention to consider joining in the global efforts to building together a more secure world. We owe this to the too many victims of the past and to the potential victims whose lives we can protect by the full implementation of the convention.”

Cardinal Nichols urges UK government to reconsider cut to foreign aid budget

CNA Staff, Nov 26, 2020 / 10:35 am (CNA).- Cardinal Vincent Nichols urged the U.K. government Thursday to reconsider a proposed cut to its foreign aid budget. 

In a letter to MPs released Nov. 26, the president of the bishops’ conference of England and Wales expressed concern at the proposed cut in overseas aid from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%.

“In today’s figures that amounts to a cut of around £4 billion [$5.3 billion] in spending on help to the world’s poorest people,” he wrote. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced Nov. 25 that the government intended to abandon its commitment to the 0.7% target contained in the Conservative Party’s 2019 general election manifesto.

He insisted that cutting the overseas aid budget by a third was a temporary measure that was necessary as the country faced its worst recession in more than 300 years.

He added that the U.K. would remain the second biggest spender on overseas aid among the Group of Seven industrialized nations.

Senior Conservatives have threatened to block the cut and Liz Sugg, a junior minister at the Foreign Office, resigned in protest.

In his letter, Nichols acknowledged the pressures on government officials responding to an economic emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“A clear measure of a nation’s greatness is the manner in which it responds to the needs of its poorest. The same is true for the response to poverty between nations. If we truly wish to be a great nation, then cutting the overseas aid budget is a retrograde step,” the archbishop of Westminster said. 


My letter to MPs about the reduction in overseas aid from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income. In these extraordinarily difficult times, we should not step back from our responsibilities to the world’s most vulnerable people. I hope compassionate and wise counsel will prevail.

— Cardinal Nichols (@CardinalNichols) November 26, 2020  

“The great tragedies of forced mass migration and human trafficking must be tackled at their source. Carefully targeted and well-managed overseas aid programs are an essential part of this effort. In the face of these catastrophes, this is no time to reduce the U.K.’s contribution or effort.”

Christine Allen, director of Cafod, the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said: “At a time when international solidarity and cooperation across borders is needed more than ever, it is deeply alarming that the government has chosen to turn its back on the world.”

“Aid spending on tackling global poverty must not be treated as a charitable favor to the world, but as Britain’s moral duty.”

“Britain became one of the world’s wealthiest nations due to its long history of colonization and use of fossil-fuelled industrialization.”

She continued: “We recognize the economic challenges we face at home, but when the government has increased spending on defense, there can be no argument to reduce spending on the means to tackle conflict and its causes.”

“Yet despite our wealth, this government has decided to take money from the world’s poorest.”         

In his letter, Nichols quoted Pope Francis’ new encyclical, “Fratelli tutti,” which argued that poverty in one part of the world will end up affecting the whole planet.  

He added: “Promises were made by all parties on aid spending at the last election. In these extraordinarily difficult times, we should not now step back from our responsibilities to the world’s most vulnerable people, especially as combating the spread of COVID-19 will necessarily mean richer countries supporting poorer ones in purchasing vaccines for their people and helping to roll out mass vaccination programs.”

“Combating COVID-19 is an international endeavor and we cannot neglect those countries that benefit from our aid. I hope that compassionate and wise counsel will prevail.”

Bishop hopes new Italian missal will help Catholics rediscover beauty of Mass

Rome, Italy, Nov 26, 2020 / 08:40 am (CNA).- As the Church in Italy prepares to introduce its new translation of the Roman Missal on Sunday, the bishop in charge of its creation hopes the changes will help Catholics rediscover the beauty of the Mass.

After Italy experienced the temporary suspension of public Masses due to the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, Bishop Claudio Maniago said “it has become more evident that the celebration of the Eucharist is truly the culmination and source of all the life and mission of the Christian communities, which are called to live and transmit the message of hope and peace of the Gospel from generation to generation.”

In a Nov. 26 interview with ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language partner agency, Maniago said “the hope, therefore, is that, by welcoming the new edition of the missal, the desire to take this opportunity to rediscover the beauty and fruitfulness of the celebration of the Eucharist, in which she experiences and announces to everyone that Christ is alive, may arise in the Italian Church.”

Maniago is the bishop of Castellaneta and president of the Italian bishops’ conference’s liturgy commission, which was responsible for putting together the third edition of the Roman Missal.

The Roman Missal is the book containing the texts and prayers for the celebration of Mass throughout the year. The new Italian translation will be used for the first time at Masses on Nov. 29, the First Sunday of Advent and the start of a new liturgical year. 

The project has taken years, with the Vatican giving final approval of the translation in June 2019.

Most of the changes from the second to third edition are in the words of the priest, including several changes from “voi fratelli” (brothers) to “voi fratelli e sorelle” (brothers and sisters). But there are also changes to lines in the Our Father and the Gloria.

The reason for the changes, Maniago said, was to have “a greater fidelity to the Latin text, so that its original meaning would not be altered, but rather it should be more and more specific.”

He pointed to the change in the Our Father. “This text so dear to Christians would not have been altered, if not to underline the deeper meaning of the prayer that Jesus taught, that is, to show the fatherhood of God,” the bishop said.

The new edition translates the penultimate line of the Our Father, “ne nos indúcas in tentatiónem” (lead us not into temptation in Latin), as “non abbandonarci alla tentazione” (do not abandon us to temptation). The previous version had translated it as “non ci indurre in tentazione” (lead us not into temptation).

In the Gloria, the line “in térra pax homínibus bónae voluntátis” (on earth peace to people of good will) will be translated as “pace in terra agli uomini, amati dal Signore” (peace on earth to men, loved by the Lord). Previously it was translated “pace in terra agli uomini di buona volontà” (peace on earth to men of good will).

Maniago said that, though the changes will be uncomfortable at first, he believed Catholics would welcome the new translation with “the awareness that the missal is not a book like any other, but the text that preserves the Church’s obedience to the Lord, who asked us to celebrate in his memory the text that rules every Mass so that it is faithful to this tradition.”

“The rite [of the Mass] is not just a set of words to be said, but on the contrary, by its nature, it has a variety of styles of communication, which permit us to aspire to the involvement of the whole person,” he said.

He described the Roman Missal as “an indispensable tool,” which “guides a harmony of gestures and words with which all the faithful of the assembly are involved in the experience of peace and mercy of the Passover of Jesus.”