Bishop Persico gives Diocese of Erie permission for public masses under a list of protocols

Coronavirus

The Bishop of the Diocese of Erie has given the go ahead for churches to resume having public masses.

There is however a list of rules that each priest must follow during this time.

The list of protocols is long and involves some restrictions that discuss topics such as how to enter and leave the church, seating arrangements and even communion.

Bishop Persico said that the expectation is for the people to walk in, go to their pew and when mass is over go directly to the parking lot to their cars. This process will involve social distancing.

The list of protocols also includes using only every third pew and refraining from gathering in groups.

Masses will also be very simple involving no more than one lecture, one server, one musician and one cantor.

According to Bishop Persico, this process will begin with a slow and gradual opening.

“It’s not like everything is fine now because we are in the yellow phase. We can’t just go back to the way things were. They will see that the church is not the same it was back in January,” said Bishop Lawrence Persico, Bishop of Erie.

Saint George Roman Catholic Church will be opening its doors and following said guidelines.

“I think that he wants to take a very deliberate and cautious approach to this so that we can ensure the safety of our people. We also need to give the people that access to their faith,” said Father Brian Vossler from Saint George Roman Catholic Church.

The bishop said that if Erie County goes back into the red phase, he will suspend mass in Erie, but not the entire diocese.

Public masses will resume on June 1st.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Map

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Events Calendar