Pope Francis is calling for prudence and obedience to government protocols dictating the easing of coronavirus shutdowns to prevent infections from surging again.
Francis made the appeal Tuesday after Italian bishops bitterly complained that the Italian government's reopening schedule contained no provisions for Masses to be resumed.
At the start of his morning Mass Tuesday, Francis said: As we are beginning to have protocols to get out of quarantine, let us pray that the Lord gives his people, all of us, the grace of prudence and obedience to the protocols so that the pandemic doesn't return.
The government announced Sunday that funerals could resume starting May 4, but there was no information on when the faithful could attend Mass.
In a statement, Italian bishops said they cannot accept that the exercise of the freedom of worship is compromised.
The office of Premier Giuseppe Conte's hastily responded that it was working on protocols to allow the resumption of Masses as soon as possible but in conditions of maximum security.
The clash was an unusual public display of tensions between church and state over the virus-imposed curbing of public religious observance, which has been blamed for helping to spread the infection in some parts of the world.