As Italy Remains in Lockdown, Pope Francis Tells Priests to Go Out and Meet the Coronavirus-affected
Pope Francis urged Catholic priests on Tuesday to “have the courage” to go out and help those sickened by the novel coronavirus, hours after Italy was placed on a nationwide lockdown.
“Let us pray to the Lord also for our priests, that they may have the courage to go out and visit the sick… and to accompany the medical staff and volunteers in the work they do,” the pontiff said during a mass in Vatican City.
St Peter’s Square in the Vatican — in the centre of the Italian capital Rome — was almost empty on Tuesday with only a few dozen people walking around, most of them without masks. The Italian government has asked for people not to travel if they can avoid it and to avoid contact with the sick.