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Amid coronavirus, public Masses suspended in most Japanese dioceses

Cemetery outside the Amakusa Christian Museum in Amakusa, Japan. Credit: Timothy Nerozzi.

More dioceses in Japan have shut down Mass for the coming weeks in response to the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus nationwide.

The majority of Japanese dioceses have now suspended all public worship.

10 dioceses of 16 have now suspended public Masses, according to Satoh Takaharu, a spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan

This comes after reports and pronouncements from various individual bishops across the nation regarding temporary church closures.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan says that the bishops have not made any sweeping or mandatory prescriptions on the virus outbreak, and the matter is left to the discretion of individual diocesan bishops.

“The CBCJ is not in a position to issue such directives as the situations vary in dioceses and the dioceses are taking necessary measures accordingly,” said Satoh.
Additionally, the CBCJ went on to say that decisions on the matter are not in any way influenced by the Japanese authorities. Churches are making precautionary choices by their own judgement.

Read full story at Catholic News Service


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