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Pope Francis to resume audiences with the public after months of Coronavirus livestreams
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Pope Francis will officially resume his general audiences with members of the public beginning September 2, after a nearly six-month absence due to COVID-19.
Pope Francis during a virtual general audience.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Traditionally, the pope's general audiences take place in either St. Peter's Square or the Paul IV Audience Hall. However, once the pandemic struck in Italy, in March, Pope Francis moved his audiences to the library of the Apostolic Palace without public access.
The Holy Father presented his first livestreamed general audience on March 11.
According to the Catholic News Agency, the Holy See press office explained that moving to a virtual platform was "necessary in order to avoid the risk of the spread of COVID-19 due to the gathering of people during security controls for access to the square, as requested by the Italian authorities."
Pope Francis' general audience for next Wednesday will take place "with the presence of the faithful," according to the Prefecture of the Papal Household in an August 26 announcement.
The Prefecture noted the audiences would be held in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace throughout September, instead of St. Peter's Square, to keep the crowds smaller.
The September general audiences will start at 9:30 am local time and "be open to all those who wish, without the need for tickets."
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