The practice of the Catholic faith in Tasmania has largely returned to normal with the reinstatement of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Source: Hobart Archdiocese.
Archbishop Julian Porteous issued a decree on Friday rescinding a previous decree issued in March that meant Catholics were not obligated to attend Mass on Sundays due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Public Masses in the archdiocese were also suspended from March 19, with a gradual easing of restrictions seeing churches reopen to reduced numbers in June.
Friday's decree rescinding the March decree and dispensation from Sunday Mass obligation came into effect on Sunday.
As restrictions have lessened, most parishes in Tasmania have returned to almost-normal Mass practices, with COVID-safe measures still in place.
Archbishop Porteous said the opening of Tasmania’s borders, and the further easing of restrictions, was an indication that Tasmania – and the practise of the faith – was returning to normal.
“The decision by the Government to open the borders has marked a significant development in terms of restrictions on public gatherings … and so it is an appropriate time to rescind the decree that came into place on the 19th of March, when, because of Government regulations, we were required to close our churches,” Archbishop Porteous said.
He noted that Masses will continue to be celebrated in line with Government directions around COVID-19.
“In parishes where it is not possible to accommodate all parishioners at a Sunday Mass because of restrictions on numbers in the church, the parish priest can seek a dispensation from the Archbishop for those who attend a weekday Mass in place of the Sunday Mass,” the decree reads.
Obligation to attend Sunday Mass reinstated as of 26 October (Hobart Archdiocese)