Catholic Churches across Philadelphia will once again continue to hold in-person Mass, despite reservations from city officials.
Archbishop Nelson Pérez said Friday that the Archdiocese will take precautions as it resumes in-person services this weekend.
“I am overjoyed that this weekend, with great care for safety, for the care of our people, we will once again gather for the public celebration of Mass,” Pérez said.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
The Archdiocese announced last week its plans to hold in-person services after Gov. Tom Wolf issued guidance around safety practices for houses of worship. Restrictions include mandatory face masks for parishioners, as well as a 50% cap on the number of congregants in a given church.
Despite that, Philadelphia officials have expressed reservations and discouraged any large gatherings, including religious ones, for fear that the coronavirus might spread.
Rev. G. Dennis Gill, rector for the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul, said that under the governor’s guidance houses of worship are considered essential and noted that the Archdiocese would be following the state’s guidance.
However, those uncomfortable attending in-person services, or who might be more at-risk of contracting COVID-19, are still being allowed to worship from home, Pérez said.