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Bishop Peter Baldacchino celebrates Mass on Holy Thursday. Credit: David McNamara/Diocese of Las Cruces

By Ed Condon, CNA, April 16, 2020

– Bishop Peter Baldacchino of the Diocese of Las Cruces said the Church is the “essential service of hope” during the coronavirus pandemic, and that the Church must “welcome as many as we can” in line with public health regulations.

The bishop announced April 15 that public Masses and sacramental life in his diocese – including weddings and funerals – would resume, even while observing state public health rules that prohibit indoor gatherings of more than five people.

“We are the great essential service of hope, now more than ever,” the bishop told CNA in an April 16 interview.

On Wednesday, Baldacchino circulated a letter to all the priests of his diocese, lifting the outright ban on the public celebration of Mass and encouraging them to resume sacramental ministry.  ….

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