Churches prepare to open under guidance rather than restrictions

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Parishes in the Diocese of Springfield will operate at 25 percent capacity and safety measures in place starting next weekend.
Their decision comes as Illinois moves into Phase Three of the governor’s plan to restore the state.

“Having received many plans and ideas from responsible faith leaders, IDPH has reviewed many detailed proposals and have provided guidance, not mandatory restrictions, for all faith leaders to use in their efforts to ensure the health and safety of their congregates,” Governor Pritzker said during his press conference.

Places of worship are now given suggestions to follow as they begin to welcome those who feel comfortable coming back. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki says the diocese plans to follow the guidance but how the instruction is carried out will vary by each parish.

We’re taking this a step at a time. This is sort of like putting your feet in the water and testing it to see how it’s going to go. So it’s not 100 percent doors open, everybody come.
Even this 25 percent is incremental and we’ll see how it’s going,” Paprocki said.

Governor Pritzker was asked if he caved after receiving lawsuits from churches regarding the amount of people meeting for services. He said he did not but is instead offering the guidance of experts as he is with other businesses during this new phase.

Pritzker maintains the safest services remain online, drive-up and outdoor services.
He said the new guidance is all about allowing those who feel the need to meet an opportunity to do so.

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