International News from World: Pope Francis will break with centuries of tradition and livestream Easter Sunday mass to allow the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics celebrate their holiest holiday under a coronavirus lockdown.
Fear and confusion in the face of a disease whose official death toll has soared past 100,000 — but whose real one is feared to be higher still — are reshaping society and transforming the way religion is observed.
Even such hallowed traditions as the pope’s messages to the faithful on Saint Peter’s Square have been replaced by prayers that Francis reads into a camera from the seclusion of his private library.
His only audience is the camera and the 83-year-old Argentine has admitted that the entire experience makes him feel “caged”.
Francis cut a lonely but striking figure when he slowly entered a dark and starkly empty Vatican square in his white robe for a torch-lit Good Friday procession.
It had taken place around the Roman Colosseum in the presence of at least 20,000 faithful for more than 50 years.