Pope Francis attends the International Pilgrimage of altar boys and girls of the Coetus Internationalis Ministrantium in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on July 31, 2018. (Photo by Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
**FILE** Pope Francis attends the International Pilgrimage of altar boys and girls of the Coetus Internationalis Ministrantium in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on July 31, 2018. (Photo by Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Pope Francis spoke Wednesday to a crowd gathered outside of the Vatican, addressing a public audience for the first time since November.

Approximately 300 people wearing masks sat outside in the Vatican’s San Damaso courtyard to hear the pontiff speak, CNN reported.

Before attendees entered the courtyard, their temperatures were taken and they had to pass through metal detectors.

The pope, who didn’t wear a mask, stopped to greet onlookers as he entered the courtyard, CNN reported.

The public addresses had been suspended by the Vatican since March 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold, aside from a brief period in September. The pope held his audiences via livestream from the Vatican Apostolic Library while the restrictions were in place.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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