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Suspension of Sunday Mass Obligation Continues in Iowa

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Even though some businesses and activities will begin to re-open in Iowa this weekend, one important activity will not. The suspenion of the Sunday mass obligation will continue for Catholics in the state's four dioceses.

In a letter to their congregations released Tuesday, the bishops of Davenport, Des Moines, and Sioux City, and the archbishop of Dubuque, cautioned that the threat posed by COVID-19 remains, especially for the elderly and vulnerable people - groups that include many parishioners and priests.

And since they believe the pandemic will peak in Iowa in the next several weeks, the restrictions that began in March will continue. "Without an effective vaccine or widespread testing, and contact data that justifies a change, we simply are not at a place where we can resume our previous prayer practices."

The letter is signed by Thomas Zinkula, Bishop of Davenport, William Joensen, Bishop of Des Moines, the Bishop of Sioux City R. Walker Nickless, and Michael Jackels, Archbishop of Dubuque.