DALLAS - The Dallas Catholic Diocese is taking a small step back when it comes to Sunday masses.
Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in North Texas, it will now be up to each individual church whether or not they want to continue to hold in-person Sunday masses.
On June 28, the Dallas Catholic Diocese began allowing its 77 churches to hold in-person Sunday mass at 50 percent capacity. It was Phase 3 of the diocese’s four-part plan to resume normal services.
Bishop Edward J. Burns said the decision to move on to Phase 3 was made weeks ago well before the recent spike and new safety warnings. So they are now letting the churches decide.
“In heeding the messages of civic officials and medical personnel to slow down the process of re-opening, and after consultation with the diocesan priest council, I have decided to ask the individual pastors to determine for their parishes whether or not they should resume Sunday Masses at this time,” Burns said. “We recognize that the nine counties of the Diocese of Dallas face different realities with regard to this coronavirus, and the pastors are in a better position to individually decide what is best for their parishioners and for their parish communities.”
If the churches hold Sunday mass, they must still do so at 50 percent capacity, and members will still be required to socially distance themselves. Churches will still be sanitized between services.
Burns reminded the Catholic community that they are still not obligated to attend mass and can still watch available live streams.