Pope Francis did not preside over the New Year’s Eve ceremony in St. Peter’s Basilica, as scheduled this Friday (31), but delivered the homily.
Giovanni Battista Re, dean of the College of Cardinals, celebrated the ceremony while the 85-year-old pontiff, wearing a mask, spent most of the act sitting on the edge of the room.
According to a Vatican spokesman, Francis wanted the cardinal to preside over the celebration. The move was announced just three hours after the Vatican confirmed the pope would hold the ceremony.
Visit to the nativity scene was also canceled
This Thursday (31), he had already canceled his traditional New Year’s visit to the manger in St. Peter’s Square due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus among the gathered crowd.
The pontiff is usually received by the faithful when he visits the crib on December 31, after presiding over the New Year’s Eve ceremony and singing the Te Deum prayer.
But the Vatican said in a note to its agenda that “the event will not take place, to avoid crowding and the risks of covid-19 contagion.”
Francis, 85 years old, celebrated his weekly general audience on Wednesday, as is common in the Paul VI salon of the Vatican, with masks and social distance.
Like every country in Europe, Italy – and by extension the tiny state of Vatican City – is facing an increase in coronavirus cases fueled by the new omicron variant.
Before you go, how about getting updated with the most important news of the day? Access the DN Telegram and follow what is happening in Brazil and in the world with just one click: https://t.me/diario_do_nordeste
I want to receive exclusive content about the world