Catholic Bishops Will Continue to Follow the Common Good on Decisions Regarding Worship Apr 13, 2021 The Executive Committee of the California Catholic Conference has released the following statement: Sacramento, CA – “In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings striking down unreasonable restrictions on indoor public worship and the issuance of new guidelines by Governor Newsom removing legal mandates restricting worship, the Catholic Bishops of California remain committed to the complete resumption of indoor worship in a responsible and safe manner. “Since last March of 2020 – before many jurisdictions even began offering any guidelines for indoor activities – the dioceses of California upheld the need to protect life and public health by voluntarily suspending indoor worship services. As the pandemic dragged on through surges and plateaus, dioceses continued to stress the common good by voluntarily holding outdoor worship services and, only when safe, move some services indoors, but always with safety and health foremost. “Pandemic-weary Californians are welcoming many positive developments in the struggle against COVID-19. Cases appear to be stabilizing in the Golden State, those 16 years and older are or will soon be eligible for vaccination and continued diligence by the public on commonsense precautions are positive and hopeful signs. “At the same time, the bishops note that vaccine availability is still not consistent (especially in some of the most vulnerable populations), questions persist about whether testing is sufficient and new surges may be forming in some communities. Local conditions vary so much that in order to keep our people safe, we will calibrate decisions on numbers and location to the varying conditions in each diocese. Our parishes will continue to insist on appropriate social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and other basic and simple precautions. “Finally, we also renew our call for Catholics to get vaccinated. As we said in our January statement: “Beyond simply protecting their own health and safety, Catholics also have an obligation to protect their family, friends and community by vaccinating as soon as feasible in accordance with public health guidelines and protocols in their area. One should always consult with their doctor regarding any personal medical concerns.” Catholics long to return to the celebration of Holy Mass together safely and as one body of believers. After mostly staying apart for two celebrations of Christ’s Resurrection during Easter, God’s call to us to gather again in prayer is especially strong. Fully celebrating together safely and as a community is a pressing priority of all California dioceses. ### The California Catholic Conference (www.cacatholic.org), founded in 1971, represents the Catholic community in the State’s public policy arena. There are nearly 11 million Catholics in California and the Catholic Church is the largest private provider of health care, social services and education in California.