The Bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas has extended the suspension of public Catholic masses until May 31st.
In an order issued on Friday, Bishop George Leo Thomas also extended his dispensation for local Catholics from attending Sunday Mass until May 30th.
Cessation of activities in all community-related locations including churches, worship rooms, and worship chapels will also continue through May.
Thomas said Monday that the latest information on the pandemic in southern Nevada shows that “there are still significant numbers of new diagnoses and deaths”.
“We have so many elderly and medically vulnerable parishioners,” he said. “That’s my big concern – to protect them.”
Thomas said he will be reviewing his order in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, he has announced the creation of a Diocesan Restoration Council to help decide when and how churches should reopen.
The council, chaired by John Kilduff, president of Bishop Gorman High School, includes representatives from areas such as medicine, business, gambling, education, pastoral care and law enforcement.
“I know what I don’t know,” said Thomas. “So I have the opportunity to bring a lot of wise people to the table.”
How the diocese can operate normally again is “a complex question,” he said. “I need (council members) to help me with these questions.”
The Diocese of Las Vegas includes counties of Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine and is home to more than 750,000 Catholics and 34 parishes.
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