Friday, March 27, 2020
Extraordinary Blessing Urbi et Orbi at 1800 Hours
(Rome) The good news: Pope Francis also tested negative for coronavirus in the second test. The bad news: The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. And two more messages: The Osservatore Romano has stopped printing because of the pandemic and today at 6 p.m. Pope Francis is giving an extraordinary blessing to Urbi et Orbi.
The closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher dates back to the Israeli government, which issued the order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation.
For the time being, the closure is for a week, as representatives of the Israeli police and the five churches that have a stake in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher announced at a joint press conference. The communities located in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where they are traditionally locked up at night, have announced that they will continue to celebrate the sacred liturgy at the usual times.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem was closed by the Israeli government until Palm Sunday
"The prayers in the basilica continue with greater intensity."
"We will pray to ask Heavenly Father to end the pandemic, to heal the sick, to protect health workers, for wisdom for the shepherds and rulers, for the salvation of those who have lost their lives."
This is the statement in a statement released yesterday by the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton OFM, the Greek Orthodox and the Armenian Apostolic Patriarch of Jerusalem. According to the status quo regulation, these three churches share the administration of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Pope Francis has since been tested for a second time for coronavirus. A prelate from the Vatican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who lives in Santa Marta, had to be admitted to the Pontifical Gemelli Clinic because of the coronavirus. The second test also showed that the Pope was not infected.
Almost the entire Vatican is now in voluntary quarantine. Because of their old age, an above-average number of prelates belong to the risk groups.
Meanwhile, the Osservatore Romano has discontinued the printed edition with reference to the pandemic. There have long been plans to forego the costly paper output and to appear in a completely different form or only digitally. The Vatican is currently lacking the most important source of income, the endless queues of tourists who want to visit the Papal States.
As he announced last Sunday, the church leader will be leading the prayer of the faithful around the world at 6:00 pm tonight and praying for an end to the pandemic.
Pope Francis will say the prayer in front of St. Peter's Basilica, although St. Peter's Square will be deserted. The head of the church called on all Catholics to connect with him on the occasion through the various means of communication. During the prayer the word of God is read, followed by a few words of the Pope, then the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and finally the papal blessing Urbi et Orbi, with which the possibility of obtaining a complete indulgence is connected.
This special blessing is usually only donated twice a year: on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday. Because of the ongoing pandemic, Pope Francis decided to donate him today.
The Pope, through the great penitentiary, already last week gave all believers who pray for the end of the pandemic and for the dying the opportunity to have complete indulgences provided they meet the usual conditions as soon as they are able to do so again.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org