Updated Note from Bishop Regarding Dispensation from Attending Mass During the Covid Pandemic (January 14, 2022)
We are aware of the increased number of people testing positive for COVID and that the number of people being exposed to people who later tested positive too is on the rise. It seems opportune for pastors to consider reminding the faithful of the following language that is contained in Bishop Vann’s June 15, 2021 Decree in which he revoked the dispensation from attending Sunday Mass promulgated in February 2020.
Permit us to stress two important points the Decree makes: First: The following people are morally excused from attending Mass and indeed may be morally obliged not to attend Mass so as to avoid putting others at risk:
Those who are currently ill;
Those who have a fever or exhibit flu-like symptoms;
Those who have good reason to think they might be asymptomatic of a contagious illness (for example, those who have been in recent contact with someone who tested positive for a contagious illness such as COVID or influenza).
Second: In those cases where a person may not be dispensed or excused from the obligation to attend Mass in one of the above categories, but may have significant fear or anxiety of becoming ill by being at Mass, for example, those who for good reason have not received the COVID vaccine, such persons should speak to their parish priest, who may grant a dispensation in individual cases per canon 1245 of the Code of Canon Law.