Bishops from the Washington State Catholic Conference have rejected President Trump’s calls on state governors to reopen churches, saying, “We will wait.”
“We want to let you know the public celebration of Mass was suspended, not out of fear, but out of our deepest respect for human life and health,” reads a Friday statement signed by several bishops in a “unified response.”
Responding to Trump, @AbpEtienne and WA state bishops say “the public celebration of Mass was suspensed, not out of fear, but out of our deepest respect for human life and health.” pic.twitter.com/iZx2ST4l37
— Christopher White (@cwwhite212) May 23, 2020
Trump on Friday urged governors to “do the right thing” and reopen houses of worship immediately, threatening to “override the governors.”
“If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. America, we need more prayer, not less,” he said.
However, the bishops’ indicated that they are not yet ready to resume in-person services.
“While we share the desire to bring people back to Mass as quickly as possible, we will wait to schedule our public worship when it is safe and prepared to do so,” the statement read.
The bishops’ statement added that they follow guidance from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Thomistic Institute, along with public health experts, and is working to develop a plan with Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) for a safe reopening.
“Parishes must create an environment that is not only safe, but is liturgically reverent,” the bishops said, adding that there is no current date established for Mass gatherings resuming in the state.