Catholic dioceses around the world are preparing for a  Holy Week of empty churches and virtual liturgies — and Easter Masses with empty pews — amid widespread global shutdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Published in Canada

VATICAN CITY -- Joined by Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant church leaders and faithful from around the world, Pope Francis led the recitation of the Lord's Prayer, imploring God's mercy on humanity amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- With the number of priests and religious dying from coronavirus-related illnesses rising, Pope Francis offered his prayers for those who died after being infected helping COVID-19 patients and their communities.

Published in Faith

After previously cancelling public celebrations of the sacraments including daily and Sunday Masses, the Archdiocese of Toronto has taken the additional step of entirely closing its churches to public access.

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VATICAN CITY -- Citing the increasing loss of lives to COVID-19 and a lack of medical resources, an Iranian cleric has urged Pope Francis to do what he can to help get U.S. sanctions against Iran lifted.

Published in International

ROME -- With more than half of its seminarians already back in the United States, the Pontifical North American College in Rome is sending its students home.

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VATICAN CITY -- As more and more countries start to feel the economic pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis urged business leaders to seek solutions that will not hurt employees and their families.

Published in Faith

VATICAN CITY -- In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis said he will give an extraordinary blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city and the world) at 6 p.m. Rome time March 27.

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Every crisis can teach us something about ourselves. Each is a chance to revise the way we live and the way we think about what is important and which people in society deserve our respect and admiration.

Published in Charles Lewis

I had a coronavirus earlier this year.

Not THAT coronavirus. It was just a common cold, which is one of the many types of coronaviruses out there.

Published in Register Columnists

The global pandemic that threatens lives is also bad news for Church finances — with Toronto’s ShareLife and the national Share Lent campaigns thrown into uncertainty by school closures and Mass cancellations.

Published in Canada

VATICAN CITY -- Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that is causing public Mass cancellations worldwide, the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter can not be postponed or suspended, said the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

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The annual Good Friday procession through downtown Toronto streets is another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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SYDNEY -- Catholic dioceses in Australia began canceling Masses as the government limited indoor gatherings to fewer than 100 people in mid-March in an effort to contain COVID-19.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY -- In places particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and with severe limits on people leaving their homes, conditions may exist to grant general absolution without people personally confessing their sins first, the Vatican said.

Published in Vatican