With masks and sanitized hands, Italian Catholics return to church
“Welcome back after so much time,” the Rev. Massimo Brogi said to the faithful at the Church of Santa Maria in Transpontina. “It’s a pleasure to see you again after so much distance.”
Italy’s Catholics, emerging from one of the most rigid lockdowns in the West — one that brought a historic halt to religious ceremonies — returned to Mass on Sunday, praying as they always have while also trying to understand a lengthy list of new rules.
Priests across the country filled their homilies with references to the past three months: the more than 30,000 who have died of the coronavirus, the passage of so many people without funerals, the economic suffering.
But the day was a trial run for all the ways in which religious services will look different, perhaps for months to come, in one of the world’s most Catholic countries.
At Brogi’s church, just blocks from the Vatican, there were no prayer leaflets, no choir. Pews were spaced 5½ …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]