The Roman Catholic Church on Friday granted conditional forgiveness for the sins of the faithful infected by COVID-19.
This was contained in a decree issued by the Papacy, which also includes healthcare practitioners and those who intercede for their wellbeing. Also included among those qualified for forgiveness are relatives who care for their sick family members.
Some of the conditions for qualification include the sick reciting a certain number of prayers or participating in traditional celebrations from safe distances.
Reading the Bible ” for at least half an hour” is also a precondition for those who pray for caregivers wellbeing to qualify for forgiveness.
There were concerns raised across the globe when the pontiff, Pope Francis, was rumoured to have come down with a cold last month. But the Vatican quickly refuted the rumours by confirming that he tested negative for COVID-19.
The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy rose in the last 24 hours by 427 to 3,405, overtaking the total number of deaths so far registered in China, officials said on Thursday. The pandemic has killed more than 3,400 people in the Mediterranean country.
*** Franca Joseph