Catholic Diocese of Phoenix stopping all weekday, Sunday masses due to coronavirus pandemic

Phoenix Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmsted has suspended all weekday and Sunday mass services in response to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Arizona.

According to a statement released to the Diocese of Phoenix website Monday, Bishop Olmsted has also asked all parish and diocesan-based public gatherings be cancelled. In addition, weddings are to be restricted to 10 or fewer people, and funerals should be restricted to immediate family and friends, with less than 10 in attendance.

Bishop Olmsted, according to the statement, also issued a waiver to all Catholic faithfuls from their obligation to attend Sunday mass, until further notice.

"It is important to be smart and think about what each of us can do to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses," a portion of the statement read.

According to the Diocese of Phoenix website, there are over 1.2 million Catholic faithfuls within the diocese.

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