Charlotte Catholic Diocese: Masks, Social Distancing No Longer Required
The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte will no longer require face coverings or social distancing at Mass according to a letter distributed Friday.
The new directive came hours after Gov. Roy Cooper announced he was lifting the face mask mandate in North Carolina and removing capacity and gathering restrictions that have been in place since March 2020.
The Diocese says that beginning May 23, the general dispensation from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation will be confined to those who remain "vulnerable to the coronavirus." The list of those exempted includes anyone who is 65 or older, pregnant or caring for sick or homebound individuals, among other situations.
The Diocese says Catholics "who are now engaging in other activities that would present a similar or greater risk of exposure, such as eating out at restaurants, traveling, partaking in nonessential shopping and widening one's circle of contacts" are welcome to return to in-person Mass.
"We know there remains concern of infection and we must remain vigilant to limit its spread," the letter says.
Additionally, receiving communion from the chalice and extending the sign of the peace (shaking hands or embracing) are still to remain omitted from services.
Many parishes will continue to livestream Mass. A full list can be found here.
The full Diocese's letter and its FAQ is below.