Bishop Anthony B. Taylor released this mandate for the Diocese of Little Rock March 12 to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The guidelines will be followed in all parishes and schools in the Diocese of Little Rock through April 30. By April 15, Bishop Taylor will announce if any other changes will be made.
"As your bishop, I have an obligation to do what we can to minimize the spread of COVID-19, especially to the most vulnerable among us. In response to COVID-19, the Diocese of Little Rock is trying to be pro-active rather than reactive. Accordingly, certain measures must be put in place in an effort to “flatten the curve” such that the spike in COVID-19 cases is not too high, too fast, such that our healthcare providers are overwhelmed. While COVID-19 is unlikely to be serious for most people, we have an obligation to care for the very young, the aged, and those with compromised immune systems. And the best way we can care for them is by minimizing large group gatherings for the time being. Taking into account that large gatherings are a factor in the spread of the disease; that there is a long lead time before symptoms present themselves and infection is known; that (God forbid) priests, deacons, and lay ministers could unknowingly transmit the disease to others, or congregants to one another; and that we have to draw on our faith and spiritual resources to face this threat; I hereby promulgate the following:
As we continue to battle this public health crisis as a Church and as a country, let us not lose sight of the fact that for us Christians, our ultimate peace and hope rests in Jesus Christ. Through the hard work of our dedicated health professionals, and with our cooperation and our faith in Jesus Christ, we will make it through the trying times that are sure to come over the weeks and months to come. Although these measures may seem drastic, our faith also binds us together in ways that run deeper than our public gatherings. Let us continue to pray for one another, and know of my fervent prayers for all of you during these times."
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