After a brief closure, the parish churches of Rome have been reopened to the faithful since March 13, 2020, less than a full day after the Cardinal-Vicar of Rome, Angelo De Donatis, ordered their closure. For his part, Pope Francis made an hour and a half pilgrimage through the streets of Rome to pray for an end to the pandemic.
The reopening of the churches in Rome took place on the anniversary of the election of Jorge Bergoglio to the sovereign pontificate. On the morning of March 13, Pope Francis urged pastors not to abandon the faithful during this period of crisis.
“Drastic measures are not always the best,” said the Holy Father, imploring the Holy Spirit to give pastors a “pastoral discernment so that they adopt measures that do not leave the holy and faithful people of God without assistance.”
The Cardinal-Vicar of the Eternal City reversed the closure order issued the day before.
If the closure of the Vatican Basilica is maintained, the director of the Press Room of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni, announced in a press release that “the dicasteries and entities of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State will remain open in order to provide essential services to the universal Church, in coordination with the Secretariat of State, applying both all the health standards and the mechanisms to allow for flexibility of work established and published in the previous days.”
On Sunday March 15, Pope Francis went to the Basilica of St. Mary Major to venerate the image of the Mary Protection of the Roman People, then, to Church of San Marcello al Corso to pray before a miraculous crucifix, to ask for “an end to the pandemic.”