Catholic Conference of Ohio
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Diocesan Information Regarding Responses to the Coronavirus

Public Masses/Liturgies Resume Throughout Ohio

Information by Diocese on Worship Guidelines, News, Resources, Volunteer Opportunities and Donation Opportunities related to the Coronavirus 

A Call to Responsibility

Most Reverend Jeffrey M. Monforton, Bishop of Steubenville, offers a video reflection on the challenges of COVID-19

Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton's video address to the parishioners of the Diocese of Steubenville Aug. 19, 2020. He calls upon each of us to be compassionate and merciful during these trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Video credit: St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology/Emmaus Road Publishing).

Urge Senators Portman and Brown to prioritize the poor and vulnerable in the next COVID-19 relief package

Final days of negotiations on a COVID-19 relief bill

Families and individuals are facing immediate hardships: rent is due, food prices are rising, layoffs continue, access to healthcare is being lost, and those who are most vulnerable in the criminal justice system are not being adequately protected from the coronavirus. As followers of Christ, we are called to create a society where the needs of the poor and vulnerable are always considered first. Tell your Senators to act now to support those who are poor and vulnerable during this pandemic.
 

Governor DeWine Implores Ohioans to Unite to Prevent Spread of Covid-19

Ohio's once flattened curve starting to sharpen and spike

In his July 15, 2020 statewide address Governor DeWine said that the state is at a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic and implored Ohioans to take appropriate action to reverse the rapidly increasing spread of the virus.

“Today, more Ohioans are getting sick than at any previous point in this pandemic. We are sliding down a very dangerous path, with our once flattened-curve starting to sharpen and spike,” said Governor DeWine. “This is a worrisome, disturbing reversal of our progress -- a jarring reminder of just how quickly our fate can change.”  He reminded Ohioans about the efficacy of facial coverings to protect themselves, loved ones, friends, neighbors and other citizens. He also renewed the call to socially distance and limit public gatherings.

Care for the Poor and Vulnerable Urged in Further Consideration of COVID-19 Relief Legislation

U.S. Bishops send numerous letters to Congress

 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, wrote:

"...As Congress turns once more to considering additional relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus should be on those most in need—the poor, the vulnerable, and people on the margins—to offer them some hope and assistance in desperate circumstances. Since early April, some of my brother bishops and I have sent five letters to express this touchstone principle to Congress and its various committees..."

Ohio's Catholic Bishops setting dates in May to resume publicly celebrated weekday Masses

Weekday Masses offer “soft opening” for return to Sunday Celebrations

In a letter released on May 8, 2020, the bishops of Ohio have agreed that each diocese will determine a soft opening date later in May granting permission for the public celebration of weekday Mass/Liturgy, where it can be achieved safely and where pastorally possible.  This plan prepares dioceses for the Solemnity of Pentecost on the weekend of 30/31 May, when Sunday Mass/Liturgy will be publicly celebrated. 

Pastors, with their parish staffs, are being asked to prepare to implement a rigorous effort to fulfill guidelines, which will be forthcoming from each Diocese/Eparchy, to include maintaining social distancing, recommendations to provide a safe environment, and instructions for the distribution of Holy Communion. 

The dispensation from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass/Liturgy remains in effect.

United States Conference of Bishops Issue Statements of Concern

Address Racism, Xenophobia, and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African American Communities

 In the midst of fear and anxiety being fueled by the COVID-19 virus, there have been increased reports of incidents of racism and xenophobia against Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage. On May 5, 2020, Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez of Philadelphia and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Cultural Diversity in the Church, Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Salt Lake City and chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, and Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism issued a statement expressing their deep concern.

On May 4, 2020, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of USCCB’s Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Nelson J. Perez of Philadelphia, and chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, and Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, and chairman of Subcommittee on African American Affairs released a statement in response to the impact of the COVID-19 virus in African American communities.

Ohio's "Stay Safe" Order

Ohio Health Director, Dr. Amy Action, has issued a replacement Order that reopens businesses, with exceptions, and continues a stay healthy and safe at home order. This is part of the Governor's Responsible RestartOhio Plan.

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Extend Suspension of All Publicly Celebrated Masses/Liturgies Through May 29, 2020

Hope for publicly celebrating together the Solemnity of Pentecost on the weekend of May 30/31

In a letter dated April 28, 2020, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio have extended the temporary suspension of all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies through May 29th.  They hope to be able to publicly celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost on the weekend of May 30/31. Each of the bishops of Ohio, once again, dispense the Catholic faithful who reside in their respective dioceses and all other Catholics currently in their territories from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass during this time.

Each bishop will be working with their pastoral teams to consider reasonable, gradual and responsible initiatives for welcoming back the faithful, in time, to Sunday Mass. They are encouraging individual dioceses and their respective pastors and parishioners to begin to work to establish plans which respect social distancing and other requirements for the safety of all. 

Governor DeWine Unveils Plan to Responsibly Restart Businesses

Plan Phases-In Openings; Keeps Stay-At-Home Order

According to the Governor's press release, the guiding principles of the Responsible RestartOhio plan are protecting the health of employees, customers, and their families, supporting community efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, and responsibly getting Ohio back to work. 

"We put this plan together based on all the information we have about how dangerous COVID-19 still is right now, balanced with the fact that it's also dangerous to have people not working," said Governor DeWine. "COVID-19 is still out there. It's still killing people. We're asking Ohioans to be reasonable and rational. Please don't take huge chances, and please use common sense when you go out and where you go out."

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