Italian Government signs protocol with Church to allow the Mass as of May 18th

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

On Monday, March 9, 2020, Italy woke up and found that the Mass had been canceled throughout the entire nation. I reported about this from the Vatican, that morning. It was clear that the decision came from the Vatican. It has been 2 months, that the Faithful were unjustly denied the Sacraments. The news today, however, changes little. Because in many Churches Communion was distributed under the present norms, described below.

And nearly no Catholics went to Church, because they recognize that these measures are ridiculous and irrational, without scientific foundation and without any faith in Jesus Christ as the Creator and Lord of Life.

However, since the present agreement between Church and State allows the pastor to implement them, in many places, this agreement will simply result in a return to normal practice.

For this reason FromRome.Info publishes here an English translation of the Original, from the text published by MarcoTosatti.com.

However, it should be noted, that in Italian law, the Church is sovereign in her own churches, and therefore, the mere signing of this agreement with the State, which has no lawful authority to restrict the mass, is a de facto concession of the entire liberty of the Church, for by it the Church has recognized that the head of the Church in Italy, is the Italian Prime Minister, who has the right to govern the Sacraments and Rituals of the Church inside each Church.

PRESS RELEASE OF THE ITALIAN BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE

The Protocol that will allow the resumption of celebrations with the people was signed this morning at Palazzo Chigi.

The text comes at the end of a process that has seen the collaboration between the Italian Episcopal Conference, the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Interior – specifically the articulations, the Prefect of the Department for Civil Liberties and Immigration, Michele di Bari, and the Head of Cabinet, Alessandro Goracci – and the Technical-Scientific Committee.

In compliance with the health regulations for the containment and management of the epidemiological emergency from SARS-CoV-2, the Protocol indicates some measures to be carefully observed, concerning the access to places of worship during liturgical celebrations; the sanitation of places and objects; the attention to be observed during liturgical celebrations and sacraments; the communication to be prepared for the faithful, as well as some general suggestions.

In preparing the text, the aim was to keep together the requirements of public health protection with indications accessible and usable by every ecclesial community.

The Protocol – signed by the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, the President of the Council, Giuseppe Conte, and the Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorgese – will enter into force on Monday 18 May 2020.

“The Protocol is the result of a deep collaboration and synergy between the Government, the Technical-Scientific Committee and the CEI, where everyone has done their part responsibly,” Cardinal Bassetti stressed, reiterating the Church’s commitment to contribute to overcoming the current crisis.

“The security measures provided for in the text – stressed President Conte – express the contents and the most appropriate ways to ensure that the resumption of liturgical celebrations with the people takes place in the safest way. I thank the CEI for the moral and material support it is giving to the entire national community at this difficult time for the country”.

“From the beginning we have worked to achieve this Protocol – concluded Minister Lamorgese -: the work done together has given an excellent result. We have also made a similar commitment with the other religious denominations”.

DEPARTMENT FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES AND IMMIGRATION

TO the Lord Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the C.E.I.

SUBJECT: Application of the measures of containment and management of the epidemiological emergency by Covid-19 provided for by the D.P.C.M. 26 April 2020 – Protocol concerning the gradual resumption of liturgical celebrations with the people.

For the profiles of competence, we transmit the united protocol, signed today morning by the President of the Council of Ministers, the President of the Italian Episcopal Conference and the Minister of the Interior, concerning the necessary security measures to comply with, in compliance with the regulations and measures to contain the epidemiological emergency by COVID 19, for the resumption of liturgical celebrations with the people.

Signed, Michele di Bari

Protocol on the resumption of celebrations with the people

For the gradual resumption of liturgical celebrations with the people, this Protocol has as its object the necessary safety measures, to be complied with by Care, in compliance with the health regulations and the measures of containment and management of the epidemiological emergency from SARS-CoV-2,

  1. 0 ACCESS TO LITURGICAL CULTURAL CELEBRATIONS PLACES

1.1. Individual access to places of worship must be carried out in such a way as to avoid any assembly both in the building and in the adjoining places, such as sacristies and churchyards.

1.2. In compliance with the regulations on the distance between persons, the legal representative of the entity shall identify the maximum capacity of the worship building, taking into account the minimum safety distance, which must be at least one metre to the side and front.

1.3. Access to the church, in this transitional phase, remains restricted and regulated by volunteers and/or collaborators who – wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, disposable gloves and a clear sign of recognition – facilitate access and exit and monitor the maximum number of admissions allowed. Where the expected participation of the faithful significantly exceeds the maximum number of admissible presences, consideration should be given to increasing the number of liturgical celebrations.

1.4. In order to facilitate orderly access, during which the safety distance of at least one metre must be respected, several entrances should be used, if any, distinguishing between those reserved for entry and those reserved for exit. When entering and leaving the congregation, the doors shall remain open to facilitate a safer flow and prevent doors and handles from being touched.

1.5. Those who enter places of worship for liturgical celebrations are required to wear masks.

1.6. The faithful are reminded that they are not allowed to enter the place of worship in the event of flu/breathing symptoms or in the presence of body temperature equal to or higher than 37,50 C

1.7. The faithful should also be reminded that those who have been in contact with positive people at SARS-CoV-2 in the previous days are not allowed access to the place of celebration.

As far as possible, access for people with disabilities should be facilitated by providing special places for their participation in the celebrations in compliance with current legislation.

1.9. Sanitizing liquids should be made available at the entrances to places of worship.

2.0 – SANITATION OF PLACES AND OBJECTS

2,1. Places of worship, including sacristies, shall be regularly sanitized at the end of each celebration by cleaning the surfaces with suitable detergents having an antiseptic action. Care should also be taken to encourage air exchange.

2.2. At the end of each celebration, the sacred vessels, ampullae and other objects used, as well as the microphones themselves, should be thoroughly disinfected.

2,3. The church’s stoups should continue to be kept empty.

3.0 ATTENTION TO BE OBSERVED IN LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS

3.1. in order to promote compliance with the distance rules, it is necessary to reduce to a minimum the presence of concelebrants and ministers, who are in any case required to respect the distance provided for in the presbytery.

3.2. The presence of an Organist may be foreseen, but in this phase the Choir is omitted.

3.3. Among the preparatory rites for Communion, the exchange of the Sign of Peace should continue to be omitted.

3.4. The distribution of Communion is to take place after the celebrant and the eventual extraordinary minister have taken care of the hygiene of their hands and worn disposable gloves; the same – wearing the mask, taking care to cover their nose and mouth and maintaining an adequate safety distance – should take care to offer the host without coming into contact with the hands of the faithful.

3.5. The faithful shall ensure that the health distance is respected.

3.6. For hygienic-sanitary reasons, it is not appropriate that in places intended for the faithful there should be singing or other types of aids

3.7. Any offerings are not collected during the celebration, but through special containers, which can be placed at the entrances or in another place deemed suitable.

3.8. The reference to full compliance with the above provisions, relating to the separation and the use of suitable personal protective equipment, also applies to celebrations other than the Eucharistic celebration included in it: Baptism, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick and burials.

3.9. The Sacrament of Penance should be administered in large and airy places, which in turn allow full respect for the measures of separation and confidentiality required by the Sacrament itself. Priest and faithful should always wear the mask.

In the anointing provided for in the administration of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Anointing of the Sick, the minister shall wear, in addition to the mask, disposable gloves.

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