BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Bishop Michael Duca released modified guidelines on Monday, May 3, for Mass attendance in the Diocese of Baton Rouge.
He announced changes in social distancing and the number of pews that will be open. Masks will still be required. The dispensation from obligation to attend Sunday Mass will be lifted on June 6.
“Most of the guidelines the governor has modified deal with the wearing of masks in gatherings outside and inside of buildings,” the bishop said. “Each of these is modified depending on the amount and possibility of physical distancing. Of particular importance for gathering in church is the guideline that allows the option to gather at full capacity for Mass if masks are worn. Because it is my desire to be able to invite more of our parishioners back to Mass and have a place for them as they return, I have decided that we will keep the mandate to wear masks and begin to lessen the physical distancing as more parishioners return to church.”
Duca assured Catholics that they should continue to consider themselves exempt from the obligation to attend Mass “if they are unvaccinated or if they have underlying conditions which make the virus more dangerous or if they are simply fearful.”
He added the new rules will be implemented depending on the size of the church parish, its capacity, and its ability to safely accommodate more worshipers as social distancing is reduced but most churchgoers will probably see all pews open for the first time since March 2020.
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