Comment from YOUTUBE” “This is so true. I cried when mass was suspended like a little baby, but I have been the most joyful throughout it than I ever could have imagined, literally praising God at every moment- I KNOW this is a grace from God because I used to struggle with severe anxiety until a few months before Lent began. I cannot wait for others to praise God with me, at every moment possible!”
The Rome vicariate on Sunday announced that all Masses with the faithful are suspended until at least April 3. The reason: coronavirus.
The Church’s decision was in keeping with a government decree that included a suspension of “all civil and religious ceremonies” in Italy until April 3. The purpose of the decree was to slow the diffusion of coronavirus, which spreads by person-to-person contact. The government decree was designed, in other words, to discourage large gatherings.
A statement from the communications office of the Rome diocese confirmed to Our Sunday Visitor that Masses can be celebrated without the faithful. “In particular,” the statement read, “the Cardinal Vicar, Angelo De Donatis, will celebrate Mass on March 11 at 8 p.m. [Rome time], and the celebration will be broadcast live on TV … and via livestream on the Rome diocese’s Facebook page.”
It remains to be seen how many of the altars in the side chapels of Rome’s churches will be used for Masses during hours churches are open to the faithful, as well as how rigorously the prohibition will be enforced. It is not unknown in Rome to find some wiggle room between the written rule and its application.
Reactions in Rome
Italy has been hit particularly hard by the virus, the outbreak of which authorities say began in Wuhan, China, late last year and has spread throughout the world. The virus presents with flu-like symptoms and usually runs its course without major incident. In older patients and in those with underlying health issues, however, coronavirus can cause more significant problems.
The death toll from confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy as of Monday stood at 366, with more than 1,300 new cases confirmed over the weekend. Italy’s northern region of Lombardy is hardest hit. Lombardy has been declared a “red zone” and is essentially on lockdown.