Vatican City, Mar 12, 2021 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- A new letter from the Vatican Secretariat of State has banned the private celebration of Masses at side altars in St. Peter’s Basilica, effective March 22.

The regulation might seem tailored to meet COVID restrictions, as Italy prepares to tighten its pandemic measures once again. However, the new rule appears to be permanent. 

The letter stresses that Lent is a time to focus on the Word of God and celebration of the Eucharist. It says the changes are intended to ensure “the Holy Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica take place in a climate of recollection and liturgical decency.”

Praise the Lord

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