This year, World AIDS Day conincided with the First Sunday of Advent. Pope Francis paid attention to both, in his Angelus message. The scriptural message for the first reading yesterday concerned an end to war (“turning swords into ploughshares”), and Francis looked forward to a time when nations will co-exist in peace. But for World Aids Day, he also included an expression of “solidarity” for all those affected by AIDS, and a hope that they will all have access to the healthcare that they need.
He does not appear to have addressed the more tricky question of the role of condoms in the prevention of AIDS – but noting the existence of the problem, is a useful start.
Pope Francis: ‘one day nations will live in peace’ & World AIDS Day prayer
The day will come when nations will live in peace, Pope Francis said today in his address to thousands of pilgrims gather in St Peter’s Square for the Angelus. “What a great day it will be”, he said, when weapons are dismantled and transformed into instruments of work. “Let’s put a bet on hope”. he continued “on hope for peace, and peace will be possible”.
Pope Francis recalled the passage from the prophet Isaiah, who speaks of a time when swords will be broken into ploughs and nations will live in peace.
Reminding those present that this Sunday marks the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year, the Pope pointed out that this is a season that renews “the horizon of hope”. He encouraged the faithful to rediscover the beauty of being on a journey towards the encounter with Jesus and called for the gift of peace.
As the first Sunday of Advent this year also falls on World AIDS Day, the Pope then made a strong appeal that all patients affected by the disease may have access to the care they need.
Pope Francis said: “We express our solidarity with the people affected by HIV/AIDS, especially children, and we express our closeness to the many missionaries and health operators who work in silence. We pray for everyone, also for physicians and researchers. May every sick person, without exception, have access to the care he or she needs”.
- Every day is World AIDS Day (jesusinlove.blogspot.com)
- Pope Urges Prayer on World AIDS Day. ‘Just Pray for unpopular Thai Crown Prince HIV scandal’ (ireport.cnn.com)