GREEN BAY (AP) — Catholic dioceses across the state are lifting the Sunday dispensation which means parishioners are once again obligated to attend Mass.
Catholic churches lifted the obligation and stopped holding in-person Mass when coronavirus cases started growing in mid-March.
Masses were once again held in-person at 25% capacity in June, but the dispensation was still in place. The dispensation officially ends next week, WLUK-TV reported.
The diocese says there are circumstances when it’s OK not to follow the obligation including when someone is ill, is taking care of someone who is ill, there isn’t room to safely worship, or if a person has grave fear of contracting COVID-19.
Rev. John Girotti of the Diocese of Green Bay says the obligation is a gentle nudge to return to church.
Girotti says the Diocese of Green Bay has two main reasons why the time is right for Catholics to return to church. One, the diocese believes it knows how to keep people safe from the coronavirus and the other is the need to worship together, he said.
“Six months is a long time and we need to get back to it,” Girotti said.
Precautions that have been in place throughout the pandemic remain. People should social distance, every other pew is blocked off to help with that, and people are urged to wear masks.