Still sick, Pope has aide read his audience talk on envy and pride

February 28, 2024 at 8:10 a.m.
As Pope Francis exits the Paul VI Audience Hall after his weekly general audience at the Vatican Feb. 28, 2024, a group of people greet him. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
As Pope Francis exits the Paul VI Audience Hall after his weekly general audience at the Vatican Feb. 28, 2024, a group of people greet him. (CNS photo/Vatican Media) (CNS photo/Vatican Media/Trenton Monitor)


VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Arriving in a wheelchair instead of walking with his cane, Pope Francis began his weekly general audience by telling visitors and pilgrims, "I'm still a bit sick," so an aide would read his prepared text.

The Pope had canceled his appointments Feb. 24 and Feb. 26 because of what the Vatican press office described as "mild flu-symptoms," but Pope Francis led the recitation of the Angelus prayer Feb. 25 without obvious difficulty.

At his general audience Feb. 28, his voice was hoarser and softer. Besides briefly telling the crowd he would not be reading his prepared text, he took the microphone only to pray at the beginning and end of the gathering and to read his appeals for peace and for an end to the use of landmines.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported that Pope Francis went from the audience to Rome's Gemelli Isola Hospital for a checkup before returning to the Vatican. In late November when he was suffering similar symptoms, he had gone to that hospital for a CT scan of his lungs.

The Vatican press office later said the Pope had gone to the hospital for "diagnostic tests." It provided no other information.

Pope Francis' main audience talk focused on envy and vainglory, or exaggerated pride, as part of his continuing series of audience talks about vices and virtues.

Envy and vainglory "go hand in hand," the Pope wrote. "Together these two vices are characteristic of a person who aspires to be the center of the world, free to exploit everything and everyone, the object of all praise and love."

Reading the Book of Genesis, envy appears to be "one of the oldest vices: Cain's hatred of Abel is unleashed when he realizes that his brother's sacrifices are pleasing to God," he wrote.

"The face of the envious man is always sad: he's always looking down, he seems to be continually investigating the ground; but in reality, he sees nothing, because his mind is wrapped up in thoughts full of wickedness," he said. "Envy, if unchecked, leads to hatred of the other. Abel would be killed at the hands of Cain, who could not bear his brother's happiness."

The root of the vice and sin of envy, he said, "is a false idea of God: we do not accept that God has His own 'math.'"

As an example, Pope Francis cited the parable from Matthew 20:1-16 about workers hired at different times of the day to work in a vineyard, but the owner pays them all the same.

When those who worked longest protest, the owner says, "Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?"

"We would like to impose our own selfish logic on God; instead, the logic of God is love," the Pope's text said. "The good things he gives us are meant to be shared. This is why St. Paul exhorts Christians, 'Love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor' (Rom. 12:10). Here is the remedy for envy!"

Pope Francis described vainglory as "an inflated and baseless self-esteem," which leads to having no empathy and to seeing others only as objects to be used.

The vainglorious person "is a perpetual beggar for attention," the Pope wrote, and when recognition is not given, "he becomes fiercely angry."

Usually, he said, the remedy for such pride comes automatically when people offer criticism rather than praise.

Proverbs 16:18 says, "Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

A wise person recognizes, as St. Paul did, that freedom comes from recognizing one's weaknesses and failures, relying only on God for strength, Pope Francis' text said.

RELATED STORY: Pope makes brief trip to hospital for unspecified tests


Related Stories

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Arriving in a wheelchair instead of walking with his cane, Pope Francis began his weekly general audience by telling visitors and pilgrims, "I'm still a bit sick," so an aide would read his prepared text.

The Pope had canceled his appointments Feb. 24 and Feb. 26 because of what the Vatican press office described as "mild flu-symptoms," but Pope Francis led the recitation of the Angelus prayer Feb. 25 without obvious difficulty.

At his general audience Feb. 28, his voice was hoarser and softer. Besides briefly telling the crowd he would not be reading his prepared text, he took the microphone only to pray at the beginning and end of the gathering and to read his appeals for peace and for an end to the use of landmines.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported that Pope Francis went from the audience to Rome's Gemelli Isola Hospital for a checkup before returning to the Vatican. In late November when he was suffering similar symptoms, he had gone to that hospital for a CT scan of his lungs.

The Vatican press office later said the Pope had gone to the hospital for "diagnostic tests." It provided no other information.

Pope Francis' main audience talk focused on envy and vainglory, or exaggerated pride, as part of his continuing series of audience talks about vices and virtues.

Envy and vainglory "go hand in hand," the Pope wrote. "Together these two vices are characteristic of a person who aspires to be the center of the world, free to exploit everything and everyone, the object of all praise and love."

Reading the Book of Genesis, envy appears to be "one of the oldest vices: Cain's hatred of Abel is unleashed when he realizes that his brother's sacrifices are pleasing to God," he wrote.

"The face of the envious man is always sad: he's always looking down, he seems to be continually investigating the ground; but in reality, he sees nothing, because his mind is wrapped up in thoughts full of wickedness," he said. "Envy, if unchecked, leads to hatred of the other. Abel would be killed at the hands of Cain, who could not bear his brother's happiness."

The root of the vice and sin of envy, he said, "is a false idea of God: we do not accept that God has His own 'math.'"

As an example, Pope Francis cited the parable from Matthew 20:1-16 about workers hired at different times of the day to work in a vineyard, but the owner pays them all the same.

When those who worked longest protest, the owner says, "Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?"

"We would like to impose our own selfish logic on God; instead, the logic of God is love," the Pope's text said. "The good things he gives us are meant to be shared. This is why St. Paul exhorts Christians, 'Love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor' (Rom. 12:10). Here is the remedy for envy!"

Pope Francis described vainglory as "an inflated and baseless self-esteem," which leads to having no empathy and to seeing others only as objects to be used.

The vainglorious person "is a perpetual beggar for attention," the Pope wrote, and when recognition is not given, "he becomes fiercely angry."

Usually, he said, the remedy for such pride comes automatically when people offer criticism rather than praise.

Proverbs 16:18 says, "Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall."

A wise person recognizes, as St. Paul did, that freedom comes from recognizing one's weaknesses and failures, relying only on God for strength, Pope Francis' text said.

RELATED STORY: Pope makes brief trip to hospital for unspecified tests

Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Supreme Court weighs Idaho abortion ban against federal emergency health care law
The Supreme Court on April 24 weighed a ...

Biden signs $95 billion aid package critical for Ukraine's defense, global humanitarian needs
President Joe Biden on April 24 said the ...

BEING AUTHENTIC
Former NFL star destigmatizes mental health challenges in honest talk with students
What Caleb Campbell is most proud of, he told Donovan Catholic students, isn’t his recognition as ...

What's going on with the Latin Mass?
Q: What's going on with the Latin Mass, and why do some priests like to celebrate...

Historians' work should lead to dialogue, truth, Pope says
Historians serve the common good when they seek historical truth and not an ideological interpretation ...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.