Baton Rouge Diocese cancels masses, large protestant churches announce coronavirus plans
UPDATE: The Baton Rouge Diocese and New Orleans Archdiocese have announced all masses are suspended, beginning Tuesday, until further notice.
BATON ROUGE - Bishop Michael Duca says Catholics in the Diocese of Baton Rouge have been given a dispensation from attending mass for the next 30 days because of the coronavirus.
The announcement comes just hours after Governor John Bel Edwards prohibited all gatherings with 250 people or more.
"It is important for us as people of faith and citizens of Louisiana to cooperate with the Governor’s order for the health and well-being of our community," the Archbishop said in a statement Friday.
Healing Place Church announced it is canceling its services until April 13 but will have online services each Sunday at 9 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 5 p.m.
Bethany Church is moving its regular Sunday Service to a single 10 a.m. service meeting for their designated small groups. The service will be broadcast live over the church website and its cable station, WLFT. The church will reevaluate its plans next week.
The Catholic Archbishop also announced the Archdiocese of New Orleans is dispensing the obligation to attend mass for the next month.
Both the New Orleans Archdiocese and Baton Rouge Diocese say their respective Catholic schools will close for the next 30 days.
At this time, church leaders do not anticipate changes in mass schedules.