The thing about lifts is that they’re always up to something. (I couldn’t resist).
Anyone can get stuck in one. Even the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.
Freed by firefighters
Pope Francis was late to his weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday (1 Sept 2019) because he was stuck in a Vatican lift.
The 82-year-old explained that he was stuck in the lift for 25 minutes because of a power outage. Unfortunately for us, the elevator doors did not part revealing singing angels and a bright yellow light. The pope was freed by firefighters.
“Let’s give a round of applause to the fire service,” he added after apologizing for being late.
Italian television networks that live-stream the Angelus were concerned that the pontiff’s seven-minute delay was because of health issues.
“There was a moment of great worry over what could have happened to him,” said Vania De Luca, Vatican expert for Rai News.
But the Pope came out full of cheer and youthful exuberance despite his age.
13 new cardinals
He quickly got down to business after the incident, announcing the creation of 13 new cardinals of the Catholic Church – including 10 possible future popes.
According to The Straits Times, ten of them are under 80 years old and will be eligible to vote for his successor as members of the college of cardinals.
The college of cardinals will also be more diverse, with newcomers from North America, Central America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
In addition to this announcement, the Pope also urged the public to combat climate change through changes in their daily habits.
“We have created a climate emergency, which seriously threatens nature and life, including our own,” he said in a message to mark this year’s World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
“This is the time to reflect on our lifestyles and how our daily choices in terms of food, consumption, travel, use of water, energy and many other material goods are often reckless and harmful,” he added.
“Let us choose to change, to take on simpler and more respectful lifestyles.”
It’s admirable that even in his old age, Pope Francis’ fervent environmentalism has not wavered.
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