Catholic Diocese of El Paso halts reopening plans

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — With the ongoing rise of COVID-19 cases within the El Paso community, the Catholic Diocese of El Paso has made to decision to remain at Phase II of reopening.

Under Phase II, parishioners are allowed to attend private visits to churches, Confessions, and the celebration of daily masses Monday through Saturday at 25% or less.

Arrangements for celebrations of Baptism, Confirmations, First Communions, Quinceañeras, and Funeral Masses at 25% are also permitted.

According to a release, Bishop Mark J. Seitz announced a directive to prohibit the celebration of weddings, funeral masses, and word services or rosaries led by Church personnel at funeral homes starting July 9.

Gatherings at gravesides with ten people or less will still be allowed under the restrictions of using a face mask and maintaining social distancing requirements.

According to pastors in the community, certain safety practices are being disregarded, especially at funeral masses and at weddings.

Bishop Seitz’s decision to remain at Phase II comes after Governor Abbott’s mandate for mandatory face coverings when in a public setting.

Pastors and administrators will be left to make their own decisions on the degree of restrictions within their parish settings.

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