There is an online petition that is seeking to get the Diocese of El Paso and Bishop Mark Seitz to reopen churches and hold Mass again. The coronavirus outbreak shut down El Paso churches of all faiths for weeks. That, of course, means that there is no way to receive communion, go to confession, or hold events like weddings or funerals. It also means that El Paso Catholics have had to rely on televised Sunday Mass and that has one woman on the interwebs very unhappy.

Pam Akers began her petition one month ago by posting:

"It is with very heavy hearts that the faithful in El Paso, Texas are not able to attend mass at this time. God has given us the most powerful prayer which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is no reason we should see the doors of our churches closed to those yearning to receive our Lord and Savior in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I urge all faithful Catholics to sign this petition for our churches to be reopened. It is only with God’s graces and mercy that we will have eternal salvation and life everlasting."

Look, I'm a practicing Catholic and I would love to go back to Mass, but I'm with Bishop Mark Seitz who says it's too soon to reopen El Paso area churches. He told a local news station that the number of hospitalizations and people in intensive care continues to go up so churches need to remain closed for the time being.

Akers said those with true faith shouldn't be worried about getting sick in Mass in the church. I hate to say it, but I'm gonna. That's not how this works, that's not how any of this works. I want to get back to Sunday Mass as well, but I also know that we know so little about the transmission of COVID-19 that any precautions we can take to keep each other safe need to be taken.

I'm with Bishop Seitz on this one. Now is not the time to reopen El Paso Catholic churches.

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