It is to avoid contagions. It happened this Wednesday at the General Audience. He apologized. But he still didn’t wear a chinstrap.
Finally, Pope Francis gave up saying hello personally to the faithful at the end of the general audience to avoid crowds and contagion of coronavirus and apologized for having to do it from a distance.
“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 greet the sick with my heart from here,” said the pontiff from his throne in the Paul VI room of the Vatican. Once again he did not use a chinstrap, although in the Vatican and in Italy its use is mandatory, both in closed and open spaces.
The pope resumed the Wednesday general audiences with the faithful on September 2, after six months of confinement.
And this time for the first time 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, the Argentine pontiff appreciated that the hundreds of faithful who listened to him keep their physical distance and apologized for not being able to approach them.
“It happens that when I go down they all come and then they group together and the problem is that there is danger of contagion. That is why each one of us with a mask and keeping our distance can continue with the hearings, “he explained.
And he added: “Excuse me if today I greet you from afar but I think that if all of us as citizens comply with the prescriptions of the authorities, this will be a help to end this pandemic. Thank you,” he said, stirring the applause of his faithful.
As in the hearing on Wednesday last week, Francisco, 83, did not wear the mask, although this time yes they used it some of his collaborators, although not all.
At the end of the meeting, he greeted some members of the Curia closely, some without protection, and later the pontiff disinfected his hands with gel.
Pope Francis has not yet appeared in public with a chinstrap and had only been seen wearing it in early September inside the car that was transporting him in the Vatican.
This Wednesday we have seen the members of the Swiss Guard with a mask, after the Vatican confirmed that four of them tested positive for coronavirus.
The pontiff’s words come at a time when the cases of contagion in Italy they go up. Yesterday they touched 6,000, figures that had not been recorded since March, in the worst moments of the pandemic, although more tests are currently being carried out.