Vatican: Catholic churches across Rome to shut until April 3
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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