- Jun 23, 2021
For the first time in decades, Mexico’s Catholics were forced on Saturday to abandon what many consider the world’s largest religious pilgrimage, in which millions visit Mexico City’s Basilica of Guadalupe on Dec. 12.
With the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe closed for her feast to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Pope Francis said Catholics still can receive a plenary indulgence Dec. 11 and 12 for their Marian devotion if they follow certain conditions.
José Rico normally participates in an annual pilgrimage, walking from a suburb northeast of Mexico City to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, arriving late on the eve of the Dec. 12 feast, when millions gather to serenade the national patroness.
Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes, archbishop of Mexico City, said the Virgin Mary would have given him a “failing grade” if he hadn’t cancelled the festivities surrounding the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
As fake news continues to spread through social media regarding an “invasion” by the Mexican army of the cathedral of Mexico City, the church felt compelled to release a statement denying a forceful occupation.
According to the latest report from the Multimedia Catholic Center, 81 priests and religious have died in Mexico after contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus since March.
Temperatures taken and anti-bacterial gel applied, the faithful passed through a disinfecting arch set up in front of centuries-old wood-and-stone doors. Inside, they sat spaced out on pews while robed priests donned face masks. In another church, a glass partition separated people from the altar.
A dozen women wearing green scarves lined up in front the Metropolitan Cathedral in Mexico City’s central square on Sunday to call for legal and safe abortions throughout Mexico.