Petition started to open El Paso Catholic Churches, Bishop says it is still too soon


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – It has been months since the El Paso faithful have worshiped inside a church.

One El Paso Catholic has started a petition in hopes of convincing El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz to open churches.

The creator of the petition, Pam Akers, said she wanted to get the attention of Bishop Mark Seitz.

The petition has been up for four weeks and only has fifty-four signatures. Akers saying she is disappointed that few people want to return to church.

“So there are thousand of Catholics in El Paso and you know I was hoping at least half of them would want to return and sign the petition but unfortunately that wasn’t the case,” said Pam Akers an El Paso Catholic and creator of the petition.

However, Seitz said with the number of cases in El Paso it is still too soon to open churches.

“El Paso County, given the fact that the number of hospitalizations is continuing to rise as is the people in intensive care, we need to remain where we are with the churches closed at this point,” Seitz said.

Although he said he understands why the El Paso faithful want to return.

“Of course we in the church are as anxious as everyone is to open up our churches as soon as it’s possible,” said Seitz.

Giving his advice to those who are getting tired of waiting, Seitz said that instead of going to church, you can show your love for others.

“We can really show our love and care for the people around us, especially the most vulnerable, and do what is right by one another,” he said. “Because if there is any command of Jesus that is the first it’s loving God and love your neighbor and we can still do that,” said Seitz.

However, Akers said she feels if the faithful returns, the virus will not be spread in churches.

“If you have the true faith that a Catholic should have, then your not going to be worried about getting sick in Mass in the church. You’re going to be worried when those churches are closed like they are now,” said Akers.

Catholic churches in El Paso will remain closed for now, but once the Bishop decides to reopen the doors, it will be in phases.

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