- Aug 12, 2020
With online registrations open and classes scheduled to start in early October, many pontifical universities in Rome have been publishing their new safety protocols and procedures on their websites.
When the Vatican issued norms that pontifical universities offer in-person classes on their campuses for the coming academic year, institutes in Rome spent the summer hammering out what changes and protocols would be needed to keep staff and students safe.
The fall semester at Catholic colleges and universities around the country will look and feel very different. As the nation continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, university life is cautiously stepping back into the fray of bringing students, faculty and staff members back together under extreme restrictions.
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.
There is no denying the fact “this is a pandemic of historic proportion,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told students at Jesuit-run Georgetown University in a recent online webinar focused on young people’s risks and responsibilities in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
A Vatican cardinal serving as the archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica says that COVID-19 coronavirus does not “come from God” but possibly from a laboratory, and denounced the “great powers” for organizing “bacteriological wars.”