March 12, 2020 / 7:11 PM / a month ago

Rome Catholic churches ordered closed due to coronavirus, unprecedented in modern times

ROME, March 12 (Reuters) - Rome’s Catholic churches were ordered closed on Thursday because of the coronavirus pandemic, in a moved believed to be unprecedented in modern times.

The decree by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis’ vicar for the Rome archdiocese, will remain in effect until at least April 3.

Previously, only Masses had been cancelled because of the outbreak. The decree also dispenses Catholics in the archdiocese from their obligation to attend Mass on Sunday’s and Holy Days. (Reporting by Philip Pullella Editing by Leslie Adler)

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