NEW YORK (NY)
March 20, 2020
By Michael J. O’Loughlin
It started off as a trickle, with only the Archdiocese of Seattle—located in one of the hardest-hit regions in the nation in terms of the coronavirus—announcing on March 11 that it would suspend public Masses to help slow the spread of Covid-19. Then the announcements from other dioceses followed in a deluge: The Archdioceses of Washington, Newark, Chicago and Boston announced similar suspensions less than two days later. In less than a week, with more than 10,000 cases of Covid-19 reported in the United States, nearly all of the nation’s Catholic dioceses suspended public Masses—and several confirmed that the suspension would run through Holy Week and Easter.
Church leaders are responding to this new reality by live-streaming Masses, pointing to online spirituality resources and even adjusting how confession works to respond to the reality that many Catholics cannot leave their homes.
Part-time church workers have seen their income halted, major charities are worried about missed collections, and at least one diocese has temporarily laid-off employees.
But when it comes to church finances, parishes and those who work in them are facing an uncertain future the longer the crisis drags on. Part-time church workers have seen their income halted, major charities are worried about missed collections, and at least one diocese has temporarily laid-off employees.
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