- Mar 31, 2020
A robust 68 percent of Italians said they support the suspension of public Masses to fight the transmission of the coronavirus, with only 23 percent opposed and 9 percent offering no opinion.
Imagine if you gave a Mass and nobody came. That’s an emerging reality for priests as the phenomenon of livestreamed, YouTubed and other online Masses grows amid the pandemic. That’s doesn’t make it any easier, though.
Pope Francis Saturday cautioned against what he said is an “elite” and “clerical” mentality that leaves the poor behind, saying this attitude is also on display during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
In real life, my experience is that many Catholics recognize the competing values at stake and don’t envy bishops who have to make virtually unprecedented judgment calls.
When the day finally comes that the Church can return to normal liturgical and pastoral life, what then?
On Wednesday the bishop of the northern Italian city of Padua upheld a centuries-old tradition of celebrating Mass in an ancient chapel despite tight restrictions due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, opting to livestream a closed-door liturgy rather than break a nearly 700-year practice.