Pope had taken up the Wednesday general hearings with the faithful on September 2, after a six-month break due to confinement. However, it was not until today that he announced, despite himself, that stopped greeting the believers to respect sanitary measures.
The Argentine pontiff, who asked diculpas for this restriction, he said from his throne in the Paul VI classroom of the Vatican: “As I normally do, I would like to come down and approach you to greet you but with the new prescriptions it is better to keep your distance and I warmly greet the sick from here “.
For the first time today, he did not go through the central aisle to greet the faithful in the stalls, as he usually does, and in the end he did not go through the first row either. At the end of his catechesis, he appreciated that the hundreds of faithful who listened to him keep their physical distance and apologized because we can’t get close to them. “When I go down they all come and then they group together and the problem is that there is a danger of contagion. That is why each one with the mask and keeping our distance we can continue with the hearings,” he explained.
“Excuse me If today I greet you from afar, but I believe that if all of us as citizens comply with the prescriptions of the authorities, this will help to end this pandemic. Thank you, “he said, drawing the applause of his faithful. As in the audience on Wednesday last week, Francisco, 83 years old, he did not wear the mask, mandatory in the Vatican City, although this time some of his collaborators did use it, although not all.
In contrast, members of the Switzerland guard, that guarantee the safety of the Pope, wore a mask as the Vatican confirmed on Monday that four of them had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The restriction on the greeting of the pontiff occurs at a time when cases of contagion in Italy they are going up. On Tuesday, the 6,000 positivesFigures that had not been recorded since March, at the worst moments of the pandemic, although more tests are currently being carried out.