Bishop restores Mass obligation for Rhode Island Catholics

Bishop restores Mass obligation for Rhode Island Catholics

Providence diocese Bishop Thomas Tobin, right, enters the during the processional at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence, R.I., Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (Credit: Jennifer McDermott/AP.)

The leader of Rhode Island's Catholics has restored the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, which was suspended in March 2020 at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic as in-person services at all houses of worship were suspended.

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — The leader of Rhode Island’s Catholics has restored the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, which was suspended in March 2020 at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic as in-person services at all houses of worship were suspended.

“It’s time to come home. It’s time to return to Sunday Mass,” Diocese of Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin said in a letter released Friday.

The obligation takes effect June 6.

Because the pandemic is still lingering, exceptions will be made for those still at risk from the coronavirus, including “those who are elderly and frail, those who have underlying health conditions, and those who have been advised by their health care providers to avoid public gatherings,” Tobin wrote.

He reminded those who are unable to attend Mass that the church still recommends spending time in prayer instead.

Churches and other houses of worship were allowed to resume in-person services at reduced capacity in May 2020. Capacity is currently restricted to 80 percent.

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