Story at a glance

  • Pope Francis previously only wore a mask while in a car taking him to his weekly audiences in the Vatican.
  • During an indoor event at the Vatican earlier this month, the pope was seen without a face mask mingling with the crowd and kissing the hands of newly ordained priests.
  • Tuesday’s prayer service comes as Italy is experiencing a steady rise in coronavirus cases.

Pope Francis was seen wearing a mask at a public event Tuesday for the first time since the pandemic began, after facing recent criticism for not donning a face covering at public gatherings and coming in close contact with guests, Reuters reports. 

The 83-year-old pontiff wore a white mask during a prayer service for peace around the world that was held at the Rome Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli Tuesday. Francis removed the mask to read his address during the ceremony but put it back on when he finished speaking, as did other religious leaders who spoke. 


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Pope Francis previously only wore a mask while in a car taking him to his weekly audiences in the Vatican. 

During an indoor event at the Vatican earlier this month, the pope was seen without a face mask mingling with the crowd and kissing the hands of newly ordained priests. 

Tuesday’s prayer service comes as Italy is experiencing a steady rise in coronavirus cases. The country recorded nearly 11,000 new cases Tuesday and has confirmed a total of more than 434,000 cases and more than 36,000 deaths. 

Reuters reports the Vatican has also reported a small increase in infections as four members of the Swiss Guard, the elite corps that looks after the pope, have tested positive for COVID-19. 


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS RIGHT NOW

CDC ‘STRONGLY RECOMMENDS’ ALL PASSENGERS ON PLANES, TRAINS, BUSES WEAR MASKS TO SLOW SPREAD OF COVID-19

THE COMING WEEKS WILL BE ‘DARKEST OF THE ENTIRE PANDEMIC,’ INFECTIOUS DISEASES EXPERT SAYS

WISCONSIN REIMPOSES CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS AMID SURGE IN HOSPITALIZATIONS

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE COULD GET WORSE DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

PROPOSAL TO LET CORONAVIRUS SPREAD NATURALLY THROUGH US POPULATION INTERESTS WHITE HOUSE, ALARMS MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT


 

Published on Oct 20, 2020