Pope asks Curia to make ‘personal’ Lenten retreats
January 20, 2023
CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has asked the leaders of the Roman Curia to “undertake a period of Spiritual Exercises in a personal way” at the end of February, rather than organizing the traditional Lenten Retreat at the Vatican.
The Vatican press office indicated that during the first week of Lent—from Sunday, February 26, to Friday, March 3—the Pope will suspend all engagements, including his regular weekly public audience. The Pontiff has asked Vatican officials to make their personal retreats during that same week.
For years the Pope and the top officials of the Roman Curia would attend the Lenten Retreat together at the Vatican, with the Pontiff appointing a preacher to lead the spiritual exercises. Pope Francis changed the routine by organizing the Lenten Retreat outside Rome, giving officials an opportunity to break from their usual routines.
In 2021, Pope Francis cancelled plans for this Lenten Retreat, citing concerns about the Covid epidemic, and encouraged Vatican officials to make their own spiritual retreats. Again last year, he did not schedule joint exercises for the Curia, citing the “continuing epidemiological emergency.” That Vatican press office did not mention the Covid epidemic in announcing the Pope’s plans for this year’s Lenten exercises.
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