Pope, on Palm Sunday, says devil taking advantage of pandemic

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World Affairs

3/28/2021


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He seems to be definitely right on this one ....VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis led Palm Sunday services in an almost empty St. Peter's Basilica because of coronavirus restrictions for the second consecutive year and said the devil is taking advantage of the pandemic.

In pre-coronavirus times, Palm Sunday, which marks the start of Holy Week and leads to Easter, tens of thousands of people would pack St. Peter's Square holding olive branches and intricately woven palm fronds in an outdoor ceremony.

Instead, only about 120 members of the faithful participated in Sunday's Mass, joining the pope and about 30 cardinals in a secondary wing of the huge basilica.

"Last year we were shocked. This year we are more under pressure and the economic crisis has become heavy," Francis said in his traditional Sunday noon address after the Mass.

Italy is in the midst of another national lockdown, which is due to end after Easter. On Wednesday, the pope ordered cardinals and other clerics to take pay cuts to save the jobs of other employees.

"The Devil is taking advantage of the crisis to sow distrust, desperation and discord," he said, adding that the pandemic had brought physical, psychological and spiritual suffering. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-religion-easter-pope-palmsunday-idUSKBN2BK09I

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