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JUST IN: After Pope Warns Against ‘Drastic Measures,’ Diocese of Rome Reverses Decree to Close Churches

Always Respecting the Laws, Churches’ Reopening Depends on Conscience of Each Church Pastor

After Pope Francis warned against ‘drastic measures’ not always being good, the Diocese of Rome has authorized churches being opened.

This move effectively reverses a decision made yesterday, March 12, saying that all Churches across Rome would be closed respecting guidelines put out by Italian authorities.

The March 13 decree, signed by Vicar General of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, modifying yesterday’s act, leaves the decision to reopen to the ‘conscience’ and ‘responsibility’ of each church pastor.

The move followed the spreading of the Coronavirus which has claimed the lives of more than 1000 people across Italy, and has put the country on lockdown.

During the Pope’s private but televised Mass at his residence this morning, the Pope reflected on the crisis.

While stressing today he wished to pray for pastors who need to accompany the people of God during this crisis, he added: “May the Lord grant them the strength and the ability to choose the best ways to help.”

“Drastic measures,” he underscored, “are not always good.”

Therefore, he prayed the Holy Spirit grant “pastoral discernment” to pastors so that “they might perceive measures that might not leave the holy, faithful people of God alone, and so that people of God might feel accompanied by their pastors.”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio, Sky, and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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