Vatican: Catholic churches across Rome to shut until April 3

/ 03:31 AM March 13, 2020

A man wearing a mask walks in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Friday, March 6, 2020. A Vatican spokesman has confirmed the first case of coronavirus at the city-state. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said Friday that non-emergency medical services at the Vatican have been closed so they can be sanitized following the positive test on Thursday. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME — The Vatican on Thursday took the unprecedented step of closing all Catholic churches across Rome to stem the spread of a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 1,000 people across Italy.

The papal vicar for Rome said the churches would reopen when a broader Italian government crackdown on public gatherings expires on April 3.


“The faithful are consequently exempt from their obligation to fulfill the festive precept,” a statement from Cardinal Angelo De Donatis said.

The Vatican 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.

Edited by JPV

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TAGS: Catholic, Church, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Italy, pandemic, Rome, Vatican
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