PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In just a few days, more parishioners within the Diocese of Pittsburgh will be able to worship inside their church.
This Saturday, attendance at masses will go to 50%. It’s something Catholics have been looking forward to. KDKA has learned even if the diocese wanted to go to 100%, they couldn’t because of state guidelines.
“We’ve been waiting. We’ve been waiting and watching and being very vigilant,” said Jennifer Antkowiak, a spokesperson for the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
For months, the pandemic has forced many Catholics to watch services virtually. Problem is, for some, the need to connect can really only be done in person.
“People are really craving a connection with Christ right now. In difficult times, in challenging times, people need that sense of comfort and love,” said Antkowiak.
This week, Bishop David Zubik announced that with an increase in attendance, additional steps will be taken to maintain safety in all parishes.
“In some cases that means every other pew or every third pew is marked off,” said Antkowiak.
But not all parishes are the same. They’re different sizes and 50% could be too much. For priests, the last thing they want to do is to turn anyone away.
“This is how many this place will hold. And so we’re going to offer more masses or masses at different times, or there is the online reservation process,” said Antkowiak.
For those who still feel uncomfortable worshipping inside, virtual services will continue.