Left Menu
Development News Edition

Catholic churches across Rome shut due to virus

PTI | Vatican City | Updated: 13-03-2020 10:27 IST | Created: 13-03-2020 08:49 IST
Catholic churches across Rome shut due to virus
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

All Catholic churches across Rome have been closed to stem the spread of a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 1,000 people across Italy. The churches will reopen when a broader Italian government crackdown on public gatherings expires on April 3, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the papal vicar for Rome, said in a statement.

Catholic faithful have been exempted from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. The Vatican had spent days resisting having to take the drastic measure of shuttering places of worship in the overwhelmingly Catholic country.

It closed its museums and even the Saint Peter's Basilica parts of its soaring dome designed by Michelangelo to tourists as the death toll continued to mount. All masses, weddings, and funerals across the country have also been called off.

But some church buildings in the country will stay open as long as the faithful follow government regulations and remain a meter (three feet) apart while inside. It was not immediately clear when Rome's churches were last forced to close en masse.

The Nazis and Italian Fascists kept Pope Pius XII confined to the Vatican during World War II. Some Rome churches kept their doors open during the war.

The closures come with the pope himself suffering from a cold and communicating with the faithful by Livestream as a safety precaution. Pope Francis complained of feeling "caged" while reading his traditional Sunday Angelus Prayer into a camera from a Vatican library instead of his usual window overlooking crowds on Saint Peter's Square.

The 83-year-old was also forced to miss his weekly Wednesday appearance on the square that he often uses to hug and shake hands with the faithful from across the world. The new regulations cover the Italian capital and not the Vatican City statelet located entirely within Rome.

The Holy See has recorded one COVID-19 infection and is awaiting the results of another person who attended one of its functions at the start of the month. The cardinal's statement said access to "churches of the Diocese of Rome open to the public and more generally to religious buildings of any kind open to the public is forbidden to all the faithful".

The statement added that monasteries would remain open to "communities that habitually use them as residents". "This provision is for the common good," De Donatis wrote.

The Italian government on Wednesday announced a comprehensive crackdown that closed all stores except for pharmacies and groceries. De Donatis said he was finally moved to close Rome's churches by "the even more binding restrictions placed on the ordinary movement of people".



Renewables in focus to revive energy sector as economies ease lockdowns

A sudden slump in energy consumption due to worldwide lockdown caused by the COVID-19 had threatened the energy transition due to a plunge in oil prices. However, as predicted by COE-EDP clean energy and inward-looking policies are the focu...

Socio-economic Impact of Covid-19 on Women

Today, women and girls are facing a double whammy - their sources of income have dried up but the workload has increased. There is a great need for gender-sensitive policies to recover from the pandemic. ...

Tracking Cybersecurity: Laying the groundwork for tougher regulations post-COVID 19

The changes indicate that the tech industry is moving towards a paradigm shift over how it operates and, more importantly, how it is regulated....

Tax dodging in rich and poor countries alike, wealthy taxpayers often outwit the taxman

... ...


Latest News

People should beat them with slippers, says Hardik Patel on reports of Cong MLAs joining BJP

People should beat them with slippers, said Congress leader Hardik Patel said while commenting on media reports about some party MLAs joining BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls. In last one month, BJP was indulged in horse-trading. They spe...

Have deleted the scene, but don't appreciate bullying: Ekta Kapoor on 'Triple X' S2 controversy

Producer Ekta Kapoor, who has been booked on the charges of spreading obscenity in her web show Triple X season 2, said the team has deleted the scene in question but the bullying and rape threats by social media trolls are in bad taste. An...

Largely peaceful protests against police brutality

Massive protests against police brutality nationwide capped a week that began in chaos but ended with largely peaceful expressions that organisers hope will sustain their movement. Tens of thousands of people marched Saturday with few repor...

Sammy says he faced racism while playing in IPL

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has alleged that he was subjected to racist comments during his stint with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League. Sammys allegation came after his vociferous support to the Black Lives Matt...

Give Feedback