Maskless Pope Francis makes first public appearance in six months
Pope Francis appeared for his first public audience Wednesday following a six-month suspension of public Vatican events during Italy’s coronavirus lockdown — though the pontiff did not wear a mask as he stood before about 500 Roman Catholic faithful.
The 83-year-old pope appeared in the Vatican’s San Damaso courtyard, where attendees were required to wear masks — though some are shown in photos not adhering to the request, or with their face coverings pulled down.
The pontiff kept a safe distance as he greeted the faithful, who were cheering and waving at him.
During the appearance, the pontiff said that the worldwide pandemic “has highlighted our interdependence.”
“We are all linked to each other, for better or for worse,” he said. “To come out of this crisis better than before, we have to do so together, all of us, in solidarity.”
One of the attendees, Inigo Sanchez, said that if the pope could work miracles, he’d “ask him to end the pandemic, but unfortunately he doesn’t have this power.”
“So I just ask for closeness,” he added.
Prior to the event, Pope Francis also greeted a priest from Lebanon and kissed a Lebanese flag he had brought with him to Vatican City.
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