May 27, 2020

Catholic Medical Association Provides Expert Resources for Reopening Churches, Celebrating Mass

Philadelphia, PA- May 27, 2020— The Catholic Medical Association, working with its physician members, continues to provide critical resources to ensure safety as the world navigates through the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Included in our efforts are several documents which detail best practices and guidelines for celebrating sacraments, developed by medical experts and religious leaders- including CMA members.
“We are grateful to all of our members who have been providing their leadership and expertise to the Church and public officials to ensure all Catholics can avail themselves of the Sacraments safe and soon,” said CMA President, Dr. Michael Parker.
“Some parishioners are afraid to come to Mass at all, while others are urging their church leaders to “open wide the doors.” Both concerns are legitimate. In formulating these considerations for bishops and priests as they make difficult decisions about reopening, CMA physicians attempted to apply both Faith and Reason,” said CMA Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Paul Cieslak.
Road Map to Reopening our Churches Safely
Road Map to Reopening our Churches Safely is a resource guide created to assist and provide public officials- as well as dioceses with medical evidence based research and best practices to consider when developing a plan for reopening.
The Thomistic Institute Guidelines on Sacraments and Pastoral Care, focuses on liturgical considerations and carefully details ways in which we can safely restore “spiritual care in a time of pandemic.”
“Both the “Road Map” and “Guidelines” apply what we know about the transmission of COVID-19- to the circumstances of Catholic liturgy. They balance Catholics’ concern for the health of others with an appreciation of the importance of worshiping God and receiving the sacraments,” added Dr. Cieslak.
“The Mass is an essential activity that can be held publicly and safely – this is the driving belief behind both of these documents which have been used by bishops,” said CMA’s Dr. Thomas McGovern.
“I have seen how my own bishop, like all bishops, are doing their best to ’thread the needle’ of addressing a variety of concerns that members of the faithful bring them so that both safety and access to the sacraments are achieved,” added Dr. McGovern, who serves as a consultant for liturgical questions in his diocese.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CMA committed itself to informing members- and Catholics everywhere- with accurate medical knowledge to maintain health and safety.
CMA’s Coronavirus Resource Page is full of information relating to celebrating Sacraments, as well as best practices for health care workers, and countless media interviews addressing the ongoing and evolving pandemic.
The Catholic Medical Association is a national, physician-led community of 2,500 healthcare professionals consisting of more than 109 local guilds. CMA mission is to inform, organize, and inspire its members, in steadfast fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine.
Jill Blumenfeld

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