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Coronavirus

Pope Ends Public Audiences Amid Virus Surge

October 29, 2020

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is ending Pope Francis’ general audiences with the public amid a surge in coronavirus cases in Italy and a confirmed infection at last week’s encounter.

The Vatican says Francis would resume livestreaming his weekly catechism lessons from his library in the Apostolic Palace, as he did during the Vatican’s coronavirus lockdown during the spring and summer.

Francis resumed his Wednesday general audiences on Sept. 2 in a Vatican courtyard with limited numbers of faithful.

Francis’ decision to not wear a mask during his audiences has drawn criticism on social media, especially when he would greet prelates at the end of the audience. The Vatican said Thursday that someone who attended the Oct. 21 audience tested positive, though it didn’t say if that person was among those who greeted the pontiff.

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