Rome reopens parish churches after one-day closure

Pope Francis urges priests not to abandon faithful in time of crisis.

Rome’s parish churches have reopened to the faithful for private prayer after being closed for less than a day.

Every church in the Diocese of Rome had been ordered closed on 12 March by Rome’s Cardinal Vicar, Angelo De Donatis, as part of emergency measures to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

However the churches reopened the next day after Pope Francis urged priests not to abandon the faithful in this time of crisis, according to The Catholic Herald.

Chapels and shrines in Rome are to remain closed however. The move follows the suspension of Mass for the faithful in Rome and the sealing off of St Peter's Square and Basilica in the Vatican.

Last Sunday the Holy See streamed the Angelus with Pope Francis after a patient being treated at the Vatican's health facilities tested positive for Coronavirus on 6 March.

Photo credit: Bill Perry /