INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — Practicing Catholics around Indiana will soon be obligated to return to Masses for the first time since March 2020.
In a letter to the Roman Catholic Province of Indianapolis, the umbrella over the five dioceses of Indiana, Bishop Kevin Rhoades said the obligation to attend Mass will be lifted throughout the state effective June 11.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Catholics in Indiana were relieved of the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and other Holy Days of Obligation. As the outbreak improved, many parishes around the area began holding Masses months ago.
The Lifting of the Dispensation from the Obligation of Mass, as the letter was titled, again makes it attending Mass a requirement for practicing Catholics in good standing.
“With the decrease of cases in our state, the widespread availability of vaccines and following the guidance of public health officials, we are now able to safely accommodate more parishioners for Masses,” Bishop Rhoades wrote.
Sunday Masses will return the weekend of June 12-13.
Rhoades outlined a few exceptions:
- Those who are seriously ill, exhibit flu-like symptoms and/or may have a contagious disease (including quarantine due to exposure).
- Those who are unable to attend Mass through no fault of their own (e.g. transportation issue).
- Those who are homebound and/or incapacitated due to age, infirmity and/or medical restrictions.
- Those who have compromised health conditions and/or at high risk of contracting the virus.
- Those who are caretakers of person who are sick or of persons at high risk of serious illness if they contract the Covid virus.