PopeWatch: Condolence and Love




The habit of Pope Francis in calling people out of the blue has sometimes produced controversial results, but he made one call last week that all Catholics can support:

Moved by the grisly images of James Foley’s murder, Pope Francis expressed his condolences to the slain journalist’s parents in a heartfelt phone call.

John and Diane Foley received the call from the pontiff at about 3 p.m. Thursday, a family friend said.

“He was very compassionate, very loving,” said the friend, Father Marc Montminy, of St. Michael’s Church in Exeter, N.H.

Montminy added that Pope Francis spoke to the Foleys through a translator for about 20 minutes, offering comfort to the staunchly Catholic couple.

Go here to read the rest.  People are sometimes diffident about extending condolences, especially in a case of the tragic death of a young person, not knowing what to say.  This is understandable but mistaken.  Especially in the case of sudden death for a young person, his loved ones need to know that they are not alone in their grief, and that other people are praying for their beloved and for them.  This Vale of Tears can often be a very cold and desolate place and it is love, especially in a time of great grief, that makes our lives bearable.


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  1. In the Holy Mass, all people are remembered and prayed for, those in heaven, on earth and under the earth. Pope Francis can live his words to James Foley’s parents and loved ones through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, through the great gift of Holy Orders. This is a great gift of Peace. According to Saint Augustine, all people offer their hearts and souls to God at the Offertory of the Mass, enabling all persons to live what they say, their words. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus shelter us in our hour of need.

  2. Mary De Voe,

    You are so correct about Holy Mass. When it comes to the grieving process the Mass is the vertical (and most ultimate) dimension of the Church’s response, and the ‘pastoral’ is the horizontal. We need both.

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