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Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles and Cdl. Timothy Dolan of New York — they're heads of the two largest dioceses in the country by Catholic population.
Both prelates insist on keeping churches closed amid the Wuhan virus pandemic, siding with their Democratic governors even after U.S. President Donald Trump encouraged houses of worship to reopen.
Cardinal Dolan said late last week there will not be public Masses in the New York archdiocese for the immediate future.
Dolan: "We need to take our time because we have a high moral responsibility to protect the health of our people."
Meanwhile, Abp. Gomez of Los Angeles said on May 23 churches in his archdiocese will remain shut down.
Gomez: "But, I think we all have to understand that the reason we have to do that is because we care for one another."
Both prelates say their decision is following guidelines from state and local government officials.
"We decided to follow the indications of the city and health and county officials," Gomez said.
Every diocese in the country shut down public Mass back in March for fear of spreading the virus.
The lockdowns persisted through Holy Week and Easter, leaving most Catholics with the sole option of watching Mass livestreamed online or broadcast on television.
A number of bishops have announced plans to reopen, but the Church is still far away from "back to normal."
Some dioceses have only allowed 10 people to attend Mass at a time, while many are requiring face masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing.
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