Francis moves Roman Corpus Christi procession from Thursday to Sunday

Francis moves Roman Corpus Christi procession from Thursday to Sunday

[Hat-tip to gpmtrad]

Diane Montagna | Mar 30, 2017 | AFP

Pope’s historic decision said to be based on wanting to attract more faithful

VATICAN CITY — In an unprecedented change, Pope Francis has decided to move the traditional Roman Corpus Christi procession from Thursday to Sunday, Italian media is reporting.

The candlelight Eucharistic procession traditionally begins after Holy Mass at the basilica of St. John Lateran, travels along Rome’s via Merulana, and ends at the basilica of St. Mary Major, just over a mile away.

According to Italian media reports, the pope has taken this unprecedented decision for two main reasons.

First, Francis wants to follow the Italian liturgical calendar, which observes Corpus Christi on the Sunday following the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

Although numerous bishops’ conferences (including in Italy and the United States) have transferred Corpus Christi to Sunday to accommodate the faithful, the Vatican had kept the traditional liturgical observance of Corpus Christi, marking the Solemnity on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday.

Beginning this year, Pope Francis is scheduled to celebrate Corpus Christi on Sunday evening, June 18, 2017 instead of the preceding Thursday, as indicated on the papal household’s calendar of liturgical celebrations.

According to reports, there is another reason for the shift.

Pope Francis thinks a greater number of faithful, pilgrims and tourists will participate in the Eucharistic procession through the heart of Rome if Corpus Christi is celebrated on a Sunday.

In recent years, the number of faithful attending the Mass before the procession has decreased considerably. The main obstacle, it is said, came from the feast coinciding with a work-day. By moving Corpus Christi from Thursday to Sunday, reports say, Francis hopes attendance among the faithful will increase.

In the first year of his pontificate, Pope Francis surprised everyone by following the Corpus Christi procession on foot, behind the Most Blessed Sacrament, instead of kneeling before the Eucharist on a modified “pope-mobile,” as his predecessors had done. Then, in 2014, no longer able to make the journey on foot, the pope chose to travel to the Basilica of St. Mary Major by car, ahead of the arrival of the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

According to FarodiRoma, “the pope wanted all the attention of the faithful to be on the Eucharist that was being carried in procession, and not on him.” Once the Blessed Sacrament has arrived at St. Mary Major, the pope would then preside at solemn Benediction.

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4 comments on “Francis moves Roman Corpus Christi procession from Thursday to Sunday

  1. It is what it is, IF it is as reported.

    I do not follow Aleitia but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Anyway, thanks for posting it, Tom. IF true, what can one say?

    • The item is from the AFP news agency and was picked up by a few other Catholic news agencies. It mentions that the Sunday date of the event is ” indicated on the papal household’s calendar of liturgical celebrations.”

  2. Pope Francis Abjures Heresy, Performs Public Penance

    Vatican City, 1 April 2017

    Pope Francis begged forgiveness of all the faithful today as he bowed his head in penance. He publicly declaimed and condemned his own publications, placing them at the head of the reinstated Index of Forbidden Books. He published a response to the dubia of the four Cardinals, defending the traditional teachings on marriage. He reinstituted the Oath Against Modernism of St. Pius X as he announced the pending review of all the clergy of the Church. “Those who give scandal to the faithful will either repent or depart, and I will remain in penance for the rest of my life,” the pope said.

  3. Would that it were true on this April Fool’s day.

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