The exponential increase of COVID-19 infections in Italy, as well as elsewhere in Europe, has had its repercussion on the choices of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), regarding the traditional March for Peace. The event, which the Italian Bishops have organized since 1968 and planned this year for December 31 in Savona, will not be held, reported the Episcopal Commission for Social Problems and Work, on CEI’s official Website. Instead of March, a Vigil will be held at 7:30 pm in Savona’s Duomo [Cathedral] with testimonies and a Mass at 8:50 pm, which will be broadcast live on Tv2000.
Here is the text published on CEI’s Website and signed also by the other organizing acronyms: the Diocese of Savona, Italian Caritas, Italian Catholic Action, Pax Christi Italy:
We communicate that this coming December 31, 2021, the traditional March for Peace, planned in Savona, will not be held. The exponential increase of COVID-19 infections over these last days and the further urgent measures to contain the epidemic provided by the Decree-Law of December 24, 2021, have led us to decide to cancel an event that normally gathers hundreds of people and which could have caused crowds.
Instead of the March, a Vigil will be held at 7:30 pm in the Duomo of Savona, with testimonies and the Eucharistic Celebration (at 8:50 pm), which will be broadcast live on Tv2000.
In fact, we feel we do not want to lose the occasion to re-launch Pope Francis’ for the 55th World Day of Peace (January 1, 2022) entitled “Dialogue Between Generations, Education and Work: Instruments to Build a Lasting Peace.” It is the background theme to the special December issue of the review “Mosaic of Peace” (www.mosaicodipace.it) promoted by Pax Christi, which is also organizing live streaming on Facebook on the morning of December 31 (at 10:00 am) on its Webpage.
In the conviction that Peace is the precious good which we must all build together, we invite men and women of goodwill to join us in prayer and in reflection through the television channel and the social instruments.