The Covid pandemic will have long-lasting repercussions for the Church. Our Rome correspondent suggests that the Catholicism that will emerge from the crisis under the leadership of Pope Francis will be leaner and clearer in its mission
A virulent pandemic might have forced church buildings around the world to close, but the Church itself never closes. As Jesus says in Matthew 24:35: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, is an appropriate moment to reflect on what sort of mission and witness will emerge from the crisis, and how Pope Francis will push forward his vision for missionary evangelisation as the Covid storm begins to subside.
“What we are living now is a place of metanoia, and we have the chance to begin. So let’s not let it slip from us; let’s move ahead,” Francis said in his interview with The Tablet last month. In two prophetic documents, his manifesto for this papacy, Evangelii Gaudium, published in 2013, followed two years later by his encyclical Laudato Si’, a powerful call to protect the natural world, the Pope offers a roadmap through the crisis and into the future.