Public Masses in Italy to Resume May 18, Ending Bitter Church-State Rift

May 11, 2020 448

Italy's government and Roman Catholic bishops signed an agreement on Thursday to allow the faithful to attend Masses again from later this month, ending a standoff between the Church and state over the coronavirus lockdown.

The government banned attendance at Masses in early March, part of its prohibition on gatherings as it sought to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Many Catholics asserted that church services should have been permitted along with other essential activities such as food shopping.

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