February 27, 2020
To Bishops, all Priests, Religious Men and Women
and the Faithful of the Latin Diocese of Jerusalem
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May the Lord give you peace!
The threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease has prompted us to issue some precautionary guidelines as this virus has rapidly spread to many areas and countries around the world.
Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the world come to the Holy Land to visit the holy sites and churches. In some cases, the pilgrims are also in contact with our local churches and communities. Because of our unique situation and after hearing from the Authorities, the following preliminary guidelines are issued in the Diocese of Jerusalem during the celebration of Masses:
Another preventive suggestion is to empty the holy water fonts especially in the holy sites and sanctuaries.
During this time of Lent, we ask for our Lord’s mercy, as we pray for all who are distressed by this infirmity and eternal rest for those who have died.
+ Pierbattista Pizzaballa