Italian Catholic Bishops Conference suspends public celebrations of Mass until April 3 due to Coronavirus pandemic

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On 8 March 2020, the Italian Episcopal Conference released a statement saying the public celebration of Communion will be suspended throughout Italy at the country’s Roman Catholic churches until 3 April 2020 in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. Clergy may celebrate private masses (sine populo) and lay Christians are encouraged to make a spiritual communion.

The Baltimore Catechism states Spiritual Communion is ‘an earnest desire to receive Communion in reality, by which desire we make all preparations and thanksgivings that we would make in case we really received the Holy Eucharist. Spiritual Communion is an act of devotion that must be pleasing to God and bring us blessings from Him.’