Source: New York Times
ROME — On an Easter Sunday like few others in modern history, Pope Francis said Mass under the soaring ceilings of St. Peter’s Basilica, which was virtually empty of the faithful. Outside, St. Peter’s Square, too, was bereft of the usual throngs of worshipers, who were forced to stay away because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last year, an estimated 70,000 pilgrims crammed into St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Easter morning to hear the leader of the world’s Catholics deliver his “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and to the World”) message after Easter Mass. But congregants are prohibited from gathering there this year because of lockdown rules in Italy, which has had the most confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe.
Faced with a flock that was seeking hope in a time of calamity, the Vatican streamed the pope’s message live for a global audience.