Catholic Church Dispensation over Coronavirus

NOW: Catholic Church Dispensation over Coronavirus

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Are you still planning to attend Sunday Mass? Well that may not be the case for other local Catholics.

Friday, Bishop Kevin Rhoades who leads the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend issued a directive in response to growing concerns of the coronavirus throughout the region.

The dispensation means that the bishop is lifting the obligation for Catholic's to attend Sunday Mass for the next three weeks--March 15th through March 29th.

Aside from the dispensation there are a handful of other directives, recommendations, and tips the diocese provides including:

- Suspending the distribution of the Precious Blood entirely and limiting the distribution of the Eucharist Body by way of hands only, no mouth or tongue distribution.

- Not shaking hands with one another during the customary sign of peace.

- Not holding hands during the Our Father prayer.

- Asked to respect social distancing and remain 6 feet away from other individuals at Mass.

These fall among a long list, with the full directive listed with all of the recommendations from the diocese on this website.

As a reminder to all parishioners-- this dispensation does NOT bar anyone from being able to attend Mass.

Rather, this is a recommendation primarily for those in the at-risk age group and those fearful of contracting or unknowingly spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Local parishes will still be conducting their typical scheduled services throughout the next 3 weeks.

If you are feeling well enough and are able to attend, the services will be open.

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