Pope Francis skips traditional Palm Sunday homily during Mass

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Francis In a break with tradition at the start of Holy Week on Sunday, the reading of the annual Palm Sunday homily during Mass was skipped at the last minute.

According to Reuters, the pope did not preach in front of tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square. Instead, he continued to preside over the ceremony, then walked out in the papal car and circled the crowd.

The 87-year-old pope has suffered from bronchitis and the flu in recent weeks, resulting in him having to have an aide read his message.

Yet on Sunday, Francis’ prepared words were not read at all.

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On February 28, 2024, Pope Francis held his weekly audience at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Andrew Medicini)

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday and continues with Easter. It is unusual for a pope to skip a homily at such an important event.

The Vatican gave no explanation for why Francis skipped the homily, and instead of pointing the camera at the pope, it focused on the crowd for several minutes.

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A Vatican Radio announcer later said Francis had decided not to read the homily. Nonetheless, he continued to celebrate Mass and read parts of it.

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Greetings from Pope Francis

Pope Francis will arrive in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, for his weekly general audience. (AP Photo/Andrew Medicini)

The ceremony, attended by cardinals, priests and bishops, commemorates Jesus enters Jerusalem Just days before He was betrayed by Judas, tried, and crucified.

Vatican police estimated there were around 60,000 people in the crowd, many carrying palm trees and olive branches during the ceremony.

After Mass, the pope delivers the Sunday Angelus message and blessing from the altar rather than from the windows of the Apostolic Palace overlooking the square, although this is not uncommon when major events take place.

During his prayer, Francis condemned the attack at a concert hall near Moscow that killed more than 130 people, calling the massacre a despicable and inhumane act that offended God.

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He also asked for prayers for those suffering in Gaza, Ukraine and other regions of war.

After the ceremony, Francis drove around the square in a convertible while waving and smiling to the crowds.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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