Podcast: How one bishop decided to cancel Mass because of coronavirus

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No priest becomes a bishop imagining he will one day tell his people not to come to Mass. But across the United States and much of the world, bishops have had to make the heartrending decision to shutter their churches and cancel the public celebration of the Mass and other sacraments.

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This week, we speak with Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Ky., about how his ministry has changed amid the coronavirus pandemic. We ask how people in his diocese responded to his decision to suspend public Masses, the creative ways his priests are ministering to their parish communities and what he would want to say to Catholics who are struggling with their faith in this time of sorrow, fear and uncertainty.

On Signs of the Times, Kathleen McChesney, an advocate for victims of clergy sex abuse, receives one of the U.S. church’s most prestigious awards. Plus we discuss the closure of a historic Catholic newspaper and the devastating effect of the coronavirus pandemic on parishes’ finances as well as the people who work for and are served by the local church. Finally, the creative ways priests are bringing the sacraments to their flock—and how the rest of us are keeping the faith alive at home.

[Explore all of America’s in-depth coverage of the coronavirus pandemic]

Now more than ever, we treasure the community you all have helped to build on Jesuitical’s Facebook page. Don’t hesitate to share both the joys and challenges you experience during this difficult moment in the life of our church. We cannot make this show or grow this community without your support. Please consider giving through Patreon. And thank you.

Links from the show

Kathleen McChesney, advocate for abuse victims, to receive Laetare Medal
Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper terminates all employees, comes as 'a shock' to staff
With Masses suspended, parishes face collection shortfalls and perilous finances
Indianapolis Archdiocese shuts down drive-thru confessions

What’s on tap?

Hand sanitizer. Lots of hand sanitizer.

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