Vatican City, Jan 20, 2021 / 06:30 am
Pope Francis has asked members of the Roman Curia to make their own arrangements for a private retreat at the beginning of Lent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pope typically spends five days on retreat together with members of the Roman Curia participating in Lenten spiritual exercises. For the past seven years, the retreat has taken place in a retreat house in the town of Ariccia in the Alban Hills southeast of Rome, although the pope was unable to participate in 2020 due to a cold.
A statement from the Holy See Press Office on Jan. 20 said that the retreat would not take place in Ariccia this year due to "the current health emergency."
In its place, the pope has invited all cardinals residing in Rome to spend time in prayer from Sunday, Feb. 21, to Friday, Feb. 26. All papal events will be canceled between the two dates, including the general audience on Wednesday, Feb. 24.