- Jul 8, 2020
Although Catholics in most East European countries have backed measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic, for some it has also revived painful memories of communist rule. Sensitivities over church closures have also surfaced in Western Europe, where some Catholics have questioned the right of civil authorities to prohibit religious worship.
Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris welcomed a renewed pledge by French President Emmanuel Macron to rebuild Notre Dame cathedral.
Up and down Italy over the Easter weekend, police entered churches and broke up services, issuing citations and fines to those taking part, in several instances including the parish priest. Yet not only has there been no howl of protest from the country’s Catholic leadership, almost uniformly bishops have sided with the authorities.
Looking for a way to provide both spiritual and physical care on Easter, a group of Italian doctors received their bishop’s permission to distribute Communion to those infected by the coronavirus.
One year ago a fire nearly led to the collapse of Notre Dame’s cathedral.
A top Vatican adviser on economic and social issues has challenged the effectiveness of the European Union over its handling of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, calling not for the dissolution of the European Union, but a stronger body that has the power to force member states to offer mutual support in times of crisis.