Pope Francis suggested to the people of his homeland today that, instead of coming to Rome for the inauguration of his pontificate on March 19, they make a charity offering to the poor.
The apostolic nuncio in Argentina, Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig, related this suggestion in a message sent on the Holy Father’s behalf to the dioceses of his homeland.
When Jorge Bergoglio was made a cardinal in 2001, he made the same request.
“Excellence: I have the honor and pleasure to address you to let you know that the Holy Father Francis has asked me to transmit to all the bishops, priests, men and women religious, and all the people of God, his serene gratitude for the prayers and expressions of tenderness, affection and charity he has received,” said the nuncio’s message.
“At the same time, instead of coming to Rome for the beginning of his pontificate on March 19, he would like them to continue with their much appreciated spiritual closeness, accompanying it with a gesture of charity to the neediest,” he stressed.
The nuncio sent the text of this notification to all the dioceses of the country.
Naturally, because of Argentina’s great distance from Rome, the cost of traveling is not small, and hence, Francis’ concern.
Meanwhile, the archbishopric of Buenos Aires confirmed to AICA news agency that Auxiliary Bishop Joaquín Sucunza, vicar general of Buenos Aires in charge of the archdiocese’s pastoral government, spoke with Pope Francis by telephone today.