Shomporko Desk:– Pope Francis called for solidarity the world over to confront the “epochal challenge” posed by the coronavirus pandemic, as Christians celebrated a solitary Easter Sunday, blending the joyful feast day with sorrow over the toll the virus has already taken. Families that normally would attend morning Mass wearing their Easter best and later join friends for celebratory lunches hunkered down at home.
Police checkpoints in Europe and closed churches around the globe forced the faithful to watch Easter services online or on TV. A few lucky Rome residents attended Mass from their balconies overlooking Santa Emerenziana church in the northern Trieste neighbourhood, where a priest celebrated a rooftop open-air service.
“We feel close to each other despite this distance,” parishioner Luca Rosati said from his balcony. “We can experience from here what we normally would experience inside the church, as a community.”At Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and entombed, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa urged the faithful to not be discouraged.