Podcast: What a Mass in reopened St. Peter’s Basilica looks like

Vatican workers in protective gear sanitize various surfaces inside St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 15, 2020, ahead of the resumption of Masses during the COVID-19 pandemic. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

As Italy gradually reopens and public Masses resume there, the Vatican is facing the challenge of a decreased income while working to lead the world’s humanitarian and diplomatic response to the coronavirus pandemic. This week on the “Inside the Vatican” podcast, veteran Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell describes the scene in St. Peter’s Basilica on its first day open to the public since the start of Italy’s lockdown.

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Gerry and I discuss Pope Francis’ last livestreamed daily Mass, which was celebrated on the centenary of St. John Paul II’s birth. Gerry explains how a Polish documentary on clerical sexual abuse cast a shadow on the centenary celebration, and what follow-up steps the Vatican may take to investigate.

We also take a look at the Vatican’s finances in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Like many governments and companies around the world, the Vatican is facing a major loss in income. The Dicastery for Finance has instructed Vatican offices to build austere budgets for next year covering only what is essential—a move that could signify big changes for offices that were only required to prepare budgets for the first time a few years ago.

Finally, the Vatican’s coronavirus task force has given its first update on its wide-ranging diplomatic, humanitarian and environmental work. Gerry and I unpack the task force’s updates on how global hunger and migration have been impacted by the pandemic.

Links from the show:

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