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Letter from Rome: Pope Francis stymied by Covid-19

Catholics should not expect much pastoral creativity from the pope during this long liturgical lockdown

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Letter from Rome: Pope Francis stymied by Covid-19

Pope Francis salutes from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking an empty St. Peter's Square after his livestreamed the Angelus prayer on March 22 at the Vatican. (Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP)

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In times of public crisis, people look to their elected leaders for guidance and direction. And as the coronavirus spreads in communities throughout the world, most of those leaders have enacted severe isolation measures to slow the pandemic's advance.

Those that haven't done so yet, are moving in that direction. We are in lockdown now. And we're probably going to stay in lockdown far longer than any of us ever expected.

Here in Italy, our virtual house arrest measures are to expire on April 3, at which time the government will reassess the situation. Most of us are bracing for the probability that they will be extended through the end of April — at least.

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