• Kansas Catholic leader says it’s OK to skip mass over COVID-19.
Practicing Catholics on the Kansas side of the state line in the Kanas City area are no longer required to attend Sunday Mass, according to an order from the area’s archbishop Friday.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who leads the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, issued a special dispensation telling Catholics in the 118 churches in the diocese that they are not obligated to attend Sunday Mass.
The order comes as churches across the Kansas City area cancel services amid growing concern over the novel coronavirus. State, local and federal officials have declared states of emergency and warned residents, especially those who are older or who have preexisting health conditions, against attending large gatherings.
Despite the dispensation, Naumann said in a news release, regularly scheduled masses will remain open to the public. Anyone who is sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19, however, is asked not to attend.
“I encourage those who can attend to do so and join together in prayer for the health and protection of our entire community and for an end to this crisis,” Naumann said in the statement.
The services will be modified. On Wednesday, Naumann issued a set of 20 directives to churches asking them to drain the holy water fonts, suspend the exchange of the sign of peace and suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood during Holy Communion.
A special dispensation has been issued saying Catholics in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas are not obligated to attend Sunday Mass amid growing concern over the novel coronavirus.