- Feb 24, 2020
This week several major Italian dioceses have canceled Ash Wednesday services and suspended public Masses amid growing alarm over the spread of the novel coronavirus in Italy, which at the heart of the worst outbreak in Europe.
Pope Francis formally recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old Italian teenager who the pope has said is a role model for young men and women today.
As Italian regional officials canceled school and major public events over the weekend following a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, Church officials have urged citizens to adhere to restrictions set in place, saying they are close to the families impacted.
The Aalst Carnival parade included stereotypical depictions of Jews for the second year in a row and the Belgian government said that the anti-Semitism in the three-day festival embarrassed the nation and endangers society.
Some of Pope Francis’s closest advisors have called on EU bishops’ conferences to help facilitate the transfer of 20,000 refugees from Lesbos, Greece, to other European countries.
Scrambling to contain rapidly rising number of new coronavirus infections in Italy, the largest amount outside Asia, authorities on Sunday stepped up measures to ban public gatherings, including stopping Venice’s famed carnival events, which has drawn tens of thousands of revelers to a region that is now in the heart of the outbreak.