The Bishop of Gorlitz Wolfgang Ipolt again invites people in his diocese to observe the Sunday obligation. At the beginning of the Corona pandemic, the Catholic bishops in Germany had lifted the Sunday ban.
"In the meantime, some things have loosened up in this regard, and it is quite possible to attend church services again – of course, in compliance with the hygienic regulations," Ipolt said in a pastoral letter read out Sunday at services in the eastern German diocese.
"Therefore I do not consider a dispensation from Sunday worship necessary now, but encourage you all again to faithfulness in the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist."
"Physical presence is something else after all"
At the same time, he appealed "also, to consciously invite anxious and perhaps worried parishioners to participate in Sunday services". If the number of seats in church is not enough because of the required distance, people should join a Holy Mass on a weekday, said Ipolt.
"We have all noticed it in recent months: the physical presence at the celebration of the Eucharist is nevertheless something different than really celebrating a Mass in front of the television," said the bishop of Gorlitz, who also read his pastoral letter on the new Youtube channel of the diocese.
Corona and canon law
Goerlitz is not the first diocese in which the Sunday commandment was reintroduced. The Archdiocese of Bamberg confirmed on request: "The dispensation is no longer necessary, since services are possible again."
That’s why, according to church law, anyone who can’t go to Mass for a "valid reason should pray, read Scripture or, for example, join in a TV service". The dioceses of Fulda and Hildesheim have also reinstated Sunday observance, according to the media.