Coronavirus: Rome Bows to State Decree Suspending All Public Masses

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By Jules Gomes, Church Militant, March 8, 2020

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VATICAN CITY ( – In a historic first, Rome has banned the presence of the faithful at all Masses until April 3, displaying an excessive willingness to submit to the emergency coronavirus decree of the Italian government issued Saturday night.

Priests may continue to celebrate the Eucharist behind locked doors but congregations will be prohibited from entering churches while Mass is being celebrated and Catholics will have to forgo receiving the sacraments in church communities.        

“The Church that lives in Italy and through the Dioceses and parishes, draws close to every man, shares the common concern in the face of the health emergency that is affecting the country,” the Conference of Italian Bishops (CEI) said in a statement Sunday, citing the Decree of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, which suspends “civil and religious ceremonies, including funeral ceremonies” throughout the country until April 3.  ….

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