Statement of Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger on the Suspension of Masses beginning July 1, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I wish to inform you that after a careful review of the medical situation, and hearing the recent concerns of our Governor and civic leaders on television, I have been advised by Diocesan leadership to suspend public worship. I agree with their recommendation and the suspension of public worship is effective as of today, July 1st, 2020. This returns us temporarily to those protocols we were following just prior to the reopening of our parishes. You should anticipate a suspension of approximately four weeks but the matter will be reviewed daily and the suspension could be for a shorter or longer duration.
Those who follow national news are aware that the State of Arizona has been referenced across the nation for our substantial spike in Covid-19 cases. When the pandemic began I stressed that a primary factor on reopening would be the ability of our hospitals and medical personnel to respond adequately to the sick. Members of the medical community—who daily place themselves at great risk to serve us—are now telling us that we are at a crisis point. I believe that we owe it these noble men and women to do our part in bringing the pandemic under control.
For now let us be committed to journeying in solidarity with the sick, the suffering, the unemployed, the frightened, and the healthcare workers who must daily face this pandemic without flinching. Join with your local parish for televised or internet Masses, or log onto the Diocese of Tucson web page and join me for daily Mass. The protocols we instituted for our parishes at the time of our reopening were sensible, thorough, and implemented with care and sensitivity. When we are able to open up once again these protocols will be reinstated. But for now, where it is safe, pastors will arrange for an outdoor distribution of Holy Communion after members of the faithful have observed a Mass via technology. Confessions will be heard only out-of-doors. The only public Masses will be funerals and weddings, and with a limit of ten persons in the congregation.
I wish to express my deep gratitude for the clergy and parish ministers who have responded so very well throughout the pandemic. They are extraordinary men and women and their fidelity to you and intense desire to be of service is a witness to the grace of their vocation.
Let us pray that this suspension is brief and that we can soon be in one another’s company. Let us also be unified in our resolve to lead the way in battling this pandemic. The witness and example of our lives and the intensity of our prayers will surely help to heal the world.
May God bless you abundantly,
+Edward J. Weisenburger
July 1, 2020
Statement of Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger on the Rise in Covid-19 Cases
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I know we’re all anxious to be back in our parishes but the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths has unexpectedly increased in Arizona. I very strongly encourage all those in the CDC vulnerable categories [especially those age 65+ or with a chronic health condition] to remain at home and let the Church come to you via technology. Just a few more weeks might make all the difference.
The Church loves you and wants you to be safe. God bless you!
+Edward J. Weisenburger, Bishop of Tucson
June 9, 2020
Statement of Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger on the Killing of Mr. George Floyd
I join with Bishops across our nation in denouncing racism and the violence it engenders.
The killing of Mr. George Floyd is an image that remains deeply etched in the minds of all Americans. I pray that this horrific image will lead to our reexamination of the lingering presence of racism in our culture and become a call to action for all of us to work for deep and lasting change.
I have prayed at Mass for Mr. Floyd by name. It is my prayer that God will raise him up to eternal life, even as God raises up a host of voices that cry out for justice and dignity for every human being and an end to violence in our communities.
+Edward J. Weisenburger, Bishop of Tucson
June 2, 2020