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Pope reverts to mask-less old ways amid growing criticism

ROME — Pope Francis is back to his mask-less old ways a day after donning a face mask for the first time during a liturgical service. The about-face came despite surging coronavirus infections across Europe. Francis shunned a facemask again during his Wednesday general audience in the Vatican auditorium, and remained mask-less when he greeted a half-dozen mask-less bishops at the end. He shook hands and leaned in to chat privately with each one. While the clerics wore masks while seated during the audience, all but one took his mask off to speak to the pope. Only one kept it on, and by the end of his tete-a-tete with Francis, had lowered it under his chin.

Nicole Winfield, The Associated Press


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