Bishop Edward J. Burns today issued a decree granting a rare dispensation to Catholics in the Diocese of Dallas. The decree states that “In light of the ongoing concerns over COVID-19 (coronavirus) and with the guidance published by the Center for Disease Control and other health safety organizations, which indicate that certain individuals may find themselves at a higher safety risk, I decree that:
The following categories of individuals are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass ‘on Sundays and other holy days of obligation’ (canon 1247):”
• Individuals over the age of 60
• Individuals with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease and cancer
• Individuals with severely compromised immune systems
• Caretakers of the at-risk individuals listed above
The dispensation remains in effect until it is revoked. The Bishop also offers some prayerful suggestions for those who cannot attend Mass such as devoting oneself to prayer and reflection, Lenten meditations, reading scripture, praying the rosary or novenas and other Catholic devotions. Mass will also be livestreamed from the cathedral every Sunday in both English and Spanish.
The decree can be found in its entirety at www.cathdal.org.