Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Inside the VaticanMarch 18, 2020
Pope Francis walks the nearly deserted streets of Rome in late afternoon on March 15. (Copyright: Vatican Media)

With more countries shutting down nonessential businesses because of the coronavirus, church leaders have faced tough decisions about whether to keep churches open to the faithful or to close them to mitigate the spread of infections. Last week, Pope Francis weighed in after a Vatican cardinal announced that all of Rome’s churches would close.

Listen and subscribe on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

The pope prayed for pastors at his daily Mass the day after the announcement, saying, “Drastic measures are not always good. Therefore, we pray that the Holy Spirit might grant pastoral discernment to pastors so that they might perceive measures that might not leave the holy, faithful people of God alone.” Within a few hours, the decision was overturned, and instead, each pastor would decide whether to open his church.

This week on “Inside the Vatican,” Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell and I, recording from home due to the pandemic, unpack the ways Pope Francis and other Vatican leaders have been navigating the balance between public health and pastoral closeness. We discuss Pope Francis’ Mass intentions responding to current events like the migrant crisis and Italian prison riots, as well as the pope’s pilgrimage through the empty streets of Rome, where he visited the icon and crucifix at the center of two famous plague-ending miracles.

“This was a dramatic expression of faith in the midst of crisis,” Gerry said.

Links from the show:

We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day.

But we still want your feedback. You can join the conversation about this article with us in social media on Twitter or Facebook, or in one of our Facebook discussion groups for various topics.

Or send us feedback on this article with one of the options below:

We welcome and read all letters to the editor but, due to the volume received, cannot guarantee a response.

In order to be considered for publication, letters should be brief (around 200 words or less) and include the author’s name and geographic location. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

We open comments only on select articles so that we can provide a focused and well-moderated discussion on interesting topics. If you think this article provides the opportunity for such a discussion, please let us know what you'd like to talk about, or what interesting question you think readers might want to respond to.

If we decide to open comments on this article, we will email you to let you know.

If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. We cannot guarantee a response from any author.

We welcome any information that will help us improve the factual accuracy of this piece. Thank you.

Please consult our Contact Us page for other options to reach us.

City and state/province, or if outside Canada or the U.S., city and country. 
When you click submit, this article page will reload. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received.
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

After two professors of theology engaged in a fruitful conversation in America on the 2019 Vatican document on “‘gender theory in education,” the editors invited them each to respond once again to each other on the subject of gender identity and transgender persons.
Abigail FavaleFebruary 08, 2023
A Homily for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, by Father Terrance Klein
Terrance KleinFebruary 08, 2023
joe biden sits at front with kamala harris and kevin mccarthy sitting behind him, biden is talking with hands raised
In his State of the Union address, President Biden called on Congress to codify Roe v. Wade “to protect every woman’s constitutional right to choose” while calling for national unity.
Kate Scanlon- OSV NewsFebruary 08, 2023
Catholic humanitarian agencies are launching emergency relief campaigns following Feb. 6’s devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey, which have so far killed more than 11,200 and injured upward of 40,900.
OSV NewsFebruary 08, 2023