VATICAN CITY – First, Pope Francis married 20 couples to highlight the role of families as the heart of the Catholic Church. Next up is a special Mass for grandparents.
Francis and 100 elderly priests will celebrate a Mass in St. Peter's Square on Sept. 28 in honor of the elderly, part of his long-standing belief that old people shouldn't be shut away in retirement homes but should be cherished for their wisdom and experience.
Vatican officials said Tuesday that one of the couples taking part in the Mass recently fled the Islamic militant crackdown in northern Iraq.
The Mass for grandparents, and the group wedding that Francis celebrated last weekend, are aimed at focusing attention on family life ahead of a major two-year church study on family issues starting Oct. 5.