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Vatican says public will not be admitted to papal Holy Week liturgies

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican office that distributes free tickets to papal events has posted a notice on its website that “the liturgical celebrations of Holy Week will take place without the physical presence of the faithful.”

While public gatherings, including Masses, have been banned in Italy through April 3, Holy Week begins with the Palm Sunday liturgy April 5, so the notification from the Prefecture of the Papal Household was read as a sign that the ban would be extended, at least at the Vatican.

Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, told Catholic News Service early March 15 that arrangements for the pope’s Holy Week and Easter schedules were “still under study” and that the prefecture’s note was meant only to inform people seeking tickets that they would not be distributed as usual.

The prefecture’s notice said the decision was made “because of the current global public health emergency” posed by the spread of the coronavirus.

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