Rome, Italy, Mar 13, 2020 / 05:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
Less than one day after the Diocese of Rome issued a decree to close all churches to the public, the vicar general revised the decree Friday saying he will leave this decision to the discretion of parish priests.
“Every ecclesial precautionary measure must take into account not only the common good of civil society, but also of that unique and precious good which is faith, especially that of the least ones,” Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, vicar general of Rome, wrote in the revision issued March 13.
The vicar general explained that banning access to all churches in the diocese for three weeks could create “a greater sense of insecurity” among Catholics during this time of crisis.
The decree “is therefore modified, placing the ultimate responsibility of entering the places of worship in the hands of priests and all the faithful, so as not to expose the population to any danger of contagion and at the same time avoid the sign of a physical prohibition on access to a place of worship by closing it, which could create disorientation and a greater sense of insecurity,” Cardinal De Donatis wrote.
The vicar general exhorted Catholics to follow the Italian government’s quarantine measures until April 3, and to stay at home.