Pope Francis Keeps Distance, But Wears No Mask During Audience

At his weekly public audience Wednesday at the Vatican, Pope Francis kept his distance from the faithful, who had come to hear him, but once again appeared in public without a mask amid a resurgence of COVID-19 in Italy. The pope told his audience — which was much smaller than usual due to the surging infection rate — he would love to come down and greet them, but “this is contrary to the measures and the precautions we must take in order to face ‘Madame COVID.'” Francis went without a protective mask Wednesday even when he greeted a few mask-less bishops at the end of his audience. FILE – Pope Francis wears a face mask as he attends an inter-religious prayer service for peace in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, a church on top of Rome’s Capitoline Hill, in Rome, Italy, Oct. 20, 2020.Francis has only been seen wearing a mask in public twice — on September 9 as he entered and exited his general audience, and last week during a two-hour interfaith prayer service in downtown Rome. Thirteen Swiss Guards and a resident of the guest house where the pope lives have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Vatican regulations require masks indoors and outdoors when social distancing cannot be guaranteed. 

About The Author

Leave a Reply