After a ‘truly trying’ Lent, cardinal moots extended Easter

Cardinal Michael Czerny (Jesuits Canada/Paul Haring)

After what feels like “a truly trying Lent of 400-plus days” because of COVID-19, Christians need to “envisage and embrace” a season of Easter faith and hope that goes beyond the traditional 50 days, said Cardinal Michael Czerny. Source: Crux.

However, the cardinal wrote in the Vatican newspaper, “there must be no nostalgia for a blithe return to our pre-COVID existence with a sigh of relief that our long Lent is finally over”.

L’Osservatore Romano, published the Canadian cardinal’s article yesterday with the headline, “An Easter for rebirth after the long Lent of the pandemic.”

Cardinal Czerny is undersecretary for migrants and refugees at the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The ongoing pandemic with its deaths and sickness, its restrictions and economic devastation naturally have left people “disoriented and discouraged,” the cardinal wrote. Those sensations are reinforced by “the economic, health, political and environmental problems (and) the long-standing and worsening injustices” the pandemic “keeps uncovering and magnifying.”

But, Cardinal Czerny said, “veritable sanctuaries and schools of solidarity” have been formed and blossomed during the pandemic, whether taking the form of online gatherings or rallying volunteers to shop for the elderly or distribute food aid to those in need.

“Our hope, though battered during the pandemic, is not lost,” he said.

Christians can live and spread their Easter joy by undergoing “an effective conversion which could decelerate, arrest and eventually reverse the climate crisis,” by advocating for a fair and speedy distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and by “welcoming new members into our communities and parishes, into our schools and economy, into our culture and society”.


After a too-long Lent, cardinal gives ideas for an extended Easter season (By Cindy Wooden, CNS via Crux

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