Pope Francis’ decision to forgo wearing a mask has been noticed, with some concern, by the commission of Vatican experts he appointed.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused campus ministries around the country to reassess how to best minister to their students.
In keeping with Italian law, all of the religious leaders, including Pope Francis, wore a mask except when delivering their speeches, which they did while keeping a distance from those listening.
Though the Christian communities around Erbil, like much of Iraq, were spared by the first wave of the pandemic, the numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths rose dramatically over the summer and appear now on the cusp of another significant acceleration.
A resident at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the residence where Pope Francis lives, tested positive for Covid-19.