Pope prays for peace in families, unity in Church

Pope Francis has prayed for families around the world who are quarantined in their homes in the midst of the pandemic.

During Mass on May 5, the pontiff noted that during the lockdown families are trying to do many things they have never done before.

He then warned against domestic violence, urging the faithful to pray for families, “that they might persevere in peace with creativity and patience during this quarantine.”

Media reports in recent weeks noted a rise in domestic abuse during the pandemic.

Last month, the United Nations called for urgent action to combat the worldwide surge in domestic violence.

“I urge all governments to put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic,” said António Guterres, U.N. secretary general.

In his homily, Pope Francis also stressed the importance of unity despite differences.

He also warned the commitment to an ideological position, even in the Church, “can become more important than listening to the Holy Spirit who guides us.”

The pope said it can lead to divisions even in the Church.

“There are ideas, positions that create division, to the point that the division is more important than unity,” said Pope Francis.

The pontiff called division a “disease of the Church, a disease which arises from ideologies or religious factions.”

He noted that throughout the history of the Church there has always been a spirit of thinking one’s self to be righteous and others to be sinners.

The pope described it as an “us and the others” attitude, which treats others as condemned, while “we have the right position before God.”

Speaking from the chapel of his residence at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis emphasized that Jesus died for everyone.

“And also, for people who do not believe in him or are of other religions: He died for everyone,” he said.

Pointing to the divisions in the Church after the Second Vatican Council, he said it is permissible to think differently from one another, but always “in the unity of the Church, under Jesus the Shepherd.”

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