Pope discusses health, his ditched peace prayer in Fatima and LGBTQ+ Catholics in airborne briefing

by Andrew Wright

Pope Francis discussed various topics during an airborne briefing on his way back from Portugal. He reassured that his recovery from abdominal surgery is progressing well. Regarding his recent trip to Portugal for World Youth Day, he revealed that he spoke without prepared speeches to connect better with young people, not because of tiredness or health issues.

During his trip to Portugal, one significant deviation was his decision not to deliver a prayer for peace at the Fatima shrine, known for its historical connection to peace exhortations and Russia’s conversion after World War I. Given Russia’s involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, this decision could have implications for the Vatican’s relations with Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. Instead of publicly pronouncing the peace prayer, Pope Francis prayed silently to the Madonna and later recited a Hail Mary with young disabled individuals.

In response to questions about why he didn’t publicly deliver the peace prayer, the Pope clarified that he did pray for peace but chose not to publicize it. He emphasized the importance of continually praying for peace. There were initial plans for a private visit to Fatima, but the Pope ultimately decided on a proper visit.

Furthermore, Pope Francis mentioned that he cut short his other speeches during the trip because he realized that young people have limited attention spans. He wants to engage them with brief, clear, and loving messages, moving away from lengthy and complicated homilies that can become tedious.

On the topic of inclusivity, Pope Francis reaffirmed his stance that all people, including LGBTQ+ Catholics, are welcome in the Catholic Church. He stressed that the church is a motherly figure, guiding individuals on their unique spiritual paths.

The coverage received support from Big Big News religion, in collaboration with The Conversation US and funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP takes sole responsibility for this content.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about PopeFrancis

Q: What did Pope Francis discuss during his airborne briefing?

A: Pope Francis discussed his health update after the abdominal surgery, his decision to speak without prepared speeches during his trip to Portugal, the omission of a peace prayer at the Fatima shrine, and his emphasis on inclusivity for LGBTQ+ Catholics in the Catholic Church.

Q: How is Pope Francis’ recovery progressing?

A: Pope Francis stated that his recovery from abdominal surgery is going well. He had the abdominal stitches removed but needs to wear a protective belt for two to three months to ensure proper healing.

Q: Why did Pope Francis deviate from his prepared speeches in Portugal?

A: Pope Francis deviated from prepared speeches to better communicate with young people. He realized they have limited attention spans and wanted to engage them with brief, clear, and loving messages.

Q: Why did Pope Francis skip the peace prayer at the Fatima shrine?

A: Instead of publicly delivering the peace prayer, Pope Francis chose to pray silently for peace and then recited a Hail Mary with young disabled individuals. He explained that he didn’t want to give “publicity” to a public prayer.

Q: What is Pope Francis’ stance on inclusivity in the Catholic Church?

A: Pope Francis reiterated that all people, including LGBTQ+ Catholics, are welcome in the Catholic Church. He sees the church as a guiding mother figure that embraces each individual’s unique spiritual path.

Q: Did geopolitical considerations influence the decision to omit the peace prayer?

A: According to a Vatican official, geopolitical considerations were not a factor in the decision to omit the peace prayer. The focus was on separating Fatima’s mystical-religious value from its historical connections to Russia and World War I.

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LilAngel August 7, 2023 - 1:26 am

pope francis’ recovery goin well aftr surgery. He skipped peace prayer at fatima & got folks wonderin. #healthupdate #Fatima #pope

KnowledgeSeeker August 7, 2023 - 2:12 am

Pope’s airborne briefing – interestin’ stuff ’bout peace prayer, LGBTQ+ & speeches. Vatican dynamics, yo! #PopeFrancis #Vatican

PeaceNLove August 7, 2023 - 4:49 pm

Pope prayed silently 4 peace, ditched public prayer. He wants inclusivity 4 LGBTQ+ Catholics. #PopeFrancis #inclusivity #peace

Wordsmith96 August 7, 2023 - 5:04 pm

Pope talkin’ ’bout how he spoke without scripts in portugal trip 2 reach out 2 young ppl. cool move, man! #PopeFrancis #youngpeople

Jenny23 August 7, 2023 - 6:00 pm

omg pope francis talkin bout his health, ditchin’ prayers & LGBTQ+ in airborne briefin’! ths dude’s bold, man. #PopeFrancis #WorldYouthDay


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