An indulgence is not a quick ticket to heaven.
Pope Francis announced his plans for the special blessing.
"There is a huge mobilization by the church all over Italy for this health emergency."
The Italian government has declared the entire country a "red zone."
A new Cabinet subcommittee on COVID-19 made the decision.
More than 3,000 people have died globally from COVID-19.
The surge of attacks has forced some families to flee and leave everything behind.
"This year, Lent is beginning in an unforeseen way that we could not have imagined even a few days ago."
The Vatican announced Feb. 23 that the pope had signed the decrees.
"A specific and courageous response is required of the church."