The Vatican and bishops around the world have been urging governments and scientists to support the development of vaccines that have no connection to abortion.
The opportunity to return to Mass -- with restrictions -- since May 18, and the need for ongoing vigilance to control the COVID-19 pandemic have combined in Italy to create a situation in which some people rushed back to Mass and others were convinced it was too soon to be safe.
Pope Francis led the recitation of rosary and asked Mary to intercede to save the world from the pandemic in the Vatican Gardens at a replica of the grotto at Lourdes, France.
The closure of the museums dealt a major financial blow to the Vatican; more than 6 million people visit the museums each year, generating an income of more than $100 million.
Following the apostolic visitation of a northern Italian ecumenical monastery, the Vatican has ordered the founder and former prior, Enzo Bianchi, to leave it so as to "clarify" the leadership of the community.
Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the tomb of his sainted predecessor, John Paul II, on the occasion of the centenary of the Polish pope's birth. For the first time since the pandemic started, the general public was admitted into St. Peter's Basilica, but with sanitary protocols observed.
During his early morning Mass, Pope Francis joined leaders of every religion marking May 14 as a day of prayer, fasting and acts of charity to ask God to stop the coronavirus pandemic.
In Italy, the pandemic presents economic and social challenges, especially when it comes to food distribution, hygiene, and employment.
On the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, Pope Francis prayed for all those who work and said that "human work is the vocation received from God."
In the homily he offered during his morning Mass on April 28, Pope Francis expressed the hope that people will be socially responsible once the pandemic restrictions begin to be lifted.