National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Pope Francis celebrates Mass, sits in back row

Vatican City

Pope Francis celebrated Mass Friday morning for the Vatican's gardeners and house cleaners, apparently after walking into the celebration unexpectedly and joining the group by quietly sitting among the congregation.

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's semi-official newspaper, has a brief account of the Mass, showing a picture of a Francis sitting in the third row of seating.

According to the newspaper, the Mass was taking place in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican hotel where Francis has been staying since the conclave that elected him pontiff. Although the Vatican's apostolic palace, where popes have lived for centuries, is apparently ready, Francis has yet to move into that facility, instead preferring to stay in the hotel, at least for now.

Support the independent Catholic news source that's on the ground bringing you the full story. Subscribe to NCR today!

During a short homily, L'Osservatore Romano reports, Francis told the small group not to have hearts of stone.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

January 29-February 11, 2016


Some articles are only available in the print newspaper and Kindle edition.