Even in the worst of times, Christians should believe in God, said Pope Francis in a gloomy, corona-shaded Christmas Eve mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Due to the corona crisis and curfew in Italy, the celebration started two hours earlier than usual.
Around 200 people, clergy and other audiences, attended the mass instead of the usual thousands. They kept their distance and wore masks.
Not only the Christmas Eve Mass was different from normal. Because of the corona pandemic, the Pope will not respond to the crowds on St. Peter’s Square from the central balcony of the basilica with the traditional blessing Urbi et Orbi (for the city and for the world) on Christmas Day. Instead, he does it from his palace and it is streamed online.
The Vatican is trying to protect the 84-year-old Pope from the risk of infection, especially after two cardinals close to him tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days.
Shortly before the service, the head of the Roman Catholic Church sent messages to the Lebanese people and the leaders of South Sudan, wishing both countries concerned peace and stability. The Pope reiterated his desire to visit the two countries. That year, Lebanon was rocked by a massive explosion in the capital, Beirut, in which more than 180 people were killed. This led to further economic and political problems. Meanwhile, South Sudan is grappling with ongoing inter-ethnic violence.
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look here the Corona news from Wednesday, December 23rd.