El Paso Diocese Continues With Suspension Of Masses
The COVID-19 numbers in El Paso County are out of control and they aren't going to get any better any time soon. El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego put a shut down and stay at home order into place two weeks ago, but that got a lot of pushback from El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, a number of local restaurants, and even the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Texas Governor Greg Abbott. The Mayor, restaurant owners, and Paxton filed suit against Samaniego to overturn his order calling it illegal. Last Friday, the order was upheld by a state judge. The order expires on Wednesday, November 11 but Samaniego says that he might extend if COVID-19 infection and hospitalization numbers don't get better.
In late October, El Paso Bishop Mark Seitz closed churches to Mass, baptisms, weddings, and even funerals in an attempt to keep people safe during this rise in COVID-19 rates. He said he would revisit his decision on November 8, which was yesterday. On Monday, he said that he was extending the closure of church parishes in El Paso County until further notice.
Seitz said the restrictions outlined in October will remain in effect and he hopes that all El Pasoans will stay at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions in place are:
Only people who are needed to help live-streaming Mass will be allowed in church but no more than 10 people.
Funerals, weddings, and baptisms are postponed.
Church meetings and classes will be postponed or held online.
Churches will not be open to the public but you can make an appointment for Confession.
Bishop Seitz says he want the Church to lead by example. He is doing just that and he should be thanked for doing so.