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Lifestyle

Pope postpones two mega-events by a year because of coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis leaves after leading a Mass and the Regina Coeli prayer in Rome's Santo Spirito in Sassia church without public participation due to an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rome, Italy, April 19, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has postponed two major international Catholic Church events by a year because of the uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican said on Monday.

While the Vatican and the pope have postponed a number of events and trips that had been planned for this year, Monday’s announcement was the first time the outbreak has affected the long-term planning of the 1.3 billion-member Church.

The World Meeting of Families, which was due to take place in Rome next year, was postponed to 2022. World Youth Day, which was scheduled for 2022 in Lisbon, was postponed until 2023.

Both events, which take place in a different location every few years, draw large crowds and involve international travel by most of the participants. They last for several days and the pope traditionally closes both.

Reporting By Philip Pullella, Editing by William Maclean

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