In an email a religious leader wrote to me in February, he said turning people away from Mass to comply with social distancing is ‘how we show obedience to our bishop as Catholics.’
University of Chicago students couldn’t attend Mass this weekend because church officials insisted it’s unsafe to worship when 0.6 percent of young people threatened more by flu contracts COVID-19.
This was not the result of a directive from the secular UChicago administration. The decision came directly from the archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blase Joseph Cupich, who ordered the campus church to cancel Mass for students due to the campus COVID “outbreak.” Not only did the bishop cancel Mass for students on campus, but he instructed them not to attend anywhere else.
Per Cupich’s directive, Calvert House Chaplain Fr. Andrew Liaugminas and Associate Director of Campus Ministry Matthew Moran agreed to bar students from the Eucharist. Moran wrote the following in an April 16 email to undergrads: “Recognizing that most of our congregation is affiliated with the University, the Archdiocese has asked us to refrain from all in-person liturgies and events while the special measures are in force.”