Statewide Face Mask Mandate
This morning all Pastors and Administrators of our diocesan parishes received the following reminder from Monsignor Moloney, The Vicar General of the Diocese of Columbus, concerning the statewide mandated wearing of facemasks.
I thank you for your charitable compliance with this order from the very beginning, and I want to pass on this reminder to all Saint Thomas Aquinas Parishioners as added encouragement for our continued safety.
As a further reminder, signs will go up this week on the entrance doors of the Activity Center saying, “Face Masks Required.”
—From Monsignor Moloney–
“The Chancery Office has received a number of calls from parishioners expressing concerns about lax compliance with the statewide mandatory “mask order” among those attending our churches and oratories.
The statewide mandatory mask order requires everyone over age 10 coming to a public place of gathering (which includes churches) to wear a mask. (Our own diocesan protocol is that everyone over age 2 must be masked.) An exception is made for the “officiant” of a religious service. This is generally understood as anyone having a speaking role: e.g. celebrant, deacon, lector, or cantor. There is also an exception for those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. Such persons should be advised not to attend public gatherings at all, including coming to Mass due to their vulnerability to infection. It should also be noted that those distributing communion must be masked while performing this function.
Because the wearing of masks is now mandated by the governor’s executive order, it is necessary for our parishes to enforce compliance with this order. Lax compliance with this mandate on the part of the people attending Mass may result in problems not only for them, but also for the parish and the pastor or administrator. Although we do not recommend confrontation, neither can non-compliance be ignored. Pastors and Administrators are urged to take the steps necessary to ensure the fullest possible compliance with the mandatory mask order by all those who attend our churches.”