The pontiff congratulated the entire Catholic world with Christmas. In his annual address, Pope Francis stressed fraternity and solidarity, saying those features could save lives. This year, the traditional message ‘Urbi and Orbi’ was given indoors due to COVID-19 restrictions, EuroNews has learned.
Normally, Pope gives his Urbi and Orbi -To the City and The World – message from the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica on December 25. However, this year, the coronavirus has ruined all the plans. To keep the health protocol, Pope Francis gave the annual message indoors.
“At this historic moment, marked by the ecological crisis and by serious economic and social imbalances aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, we need fraternity more than ever”, the pontiff said.
In Italy, to stem the spread of coronavirus, the government imposed strict lockdown.
Coronavirus has changed the traditions of the Vatican
This year, the pontiff has delivered an early Mass Thursday to a small congregation at St Peter’s Basilica to comply with Italy’s 10 pm curfew.
To celebrate the Christmas vigil, service started at 7:30 pm local time, with attendees wearing face masks.
The Pope will not be making appearances in St Peter’s Square throughout the holiday season where he would usually offer blessings to the crowd.