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Pittsburgh Diocese cancels weddings, funerals; closes churches after outbreak

Posted By: RumorMail
Date: Tuesday, 14-Apr-2020 16:55:01
www.rumormill.news/144549

In Response To: State Crackdowns On Churches Aren't About 'Safety' - They're an Attack On Religious Freedom- vid (RumorMail)

By Daveen Rae Kurutz
@DK_NewsData and @DKreports
Posted Mar 28, 2020 at 9:31 PM

In a sweeping directive, Bishop David Zubik announced Saturday evening that all church buildings in the Diocese of Pittsburgh are to be locked until further notice. He also announced the cancellation of all funeral Masses and all weddings until further notice.

After two priests in the Diocese of Pittsburgh showed symptoms of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, Bishop David Zubik has taken sweeping precautions and effectively shut down the diocese.

In a sweeping directive, Zubik announced Saturday evening that all church buildings in the diocese are to be locked until further notice. He also announced the cancellation of all funeral Masses and all weddings until further notice.

“Several weeks ago, when I had to suspend the celebration of public Masses, I said it was the most difficult decision I have had to make as a bishop,” Zubik said. “Today’s decisions are equally excruciating.”

One of those priests, the Rev. Adam Potter, tested positive on Sunday. Potter serves as parochial vicar of the Greenfield Hazelwood, Oakland grouping and chaplain for Oakland Catholic High School in Pittsburgh.

Zubik also canceled all baptisms ceremonies and curtailed all planned celebrations of the sacrament of reconciliation in parking lots, an adaption announced last week designed to allow priests to continue to offer one of the church’s sacraments.

“Although we are not able to celebrate the sacraments publicly due to extraordinary circumstances, Jesus is still with us and working through us,” Zubik said.

Zubik said the ban on funerals is inclusive of those at funeral homes and that direct burials of the deceased should be celebrated with memorial Masses at a later time.

Parishes will directly contact couples who have wedding ceremonies already planned, Zubik said.

Additionally, the sacrament of anointing of the sick will only be administered in the case of immediate danger of death.

“Our pastoral responsibility requires us to provide for the needs of those entrusted to our care,” Zubik said. “The most critical care we can offer to our people at this moment is to do all that we can to keep them connected with God and each other and to keep them safe in that care.”


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