The Catholic chapel of the Italian Embassy in Kabul – the only Catholic church in Afghanistan – has suspended celebrations to respond to the containment measures of the coronavirus, reported Fides News Agency.

Father Giovanni Scalese, Barnabite priest, at the head of the Missio sui iuris in Afghanistan said, “At the end of February, I had sent a message regarding the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the covid-19 disease. Unfortunately, the virus has continued to spread. Although, thank God, the contagion in Afghanistan has not reached the levels of China or Italy, the experience of those countries suggests that the danger of the virus should not be underestimated. The spread of the first cases in Kabul led the Embassy authorities to close the compound. So, on Monday 23 March I celebrated the last mass with the nuns. Attendance at Sunday mass, however, had already decreased significantly in recent weeks, a sign that many have already returned to their country.”

The Barnabite continues to personally celebrate the Eucharist in the church inside the Embassy: “I do not know if it will be possible for me to live the rites of Holy Week, because they require the participation of the faithful or, at least, of some ministers, but in any case, every time there will be the possibility of celebrating a Holy Mass, I will do it”.

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