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Rhode Island Churches Re-Opening Next Week

May 21, 2020

As churches in Rhode Island re-open, they will be limited to 25 percent capacity.

The churches will be able to have in-person services starting on Saturday, May 30. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, welcomed the announcement. 

“Today the Diocese of Providence announced the re-opening of our churches for public worship on May 30-31. With joy we will gather again to worship ‘in spirit and truth’,” he said, according to WJAR-TV Channel 10. “We are grateful to State officials for their assistance and guidance as we prepare for this blessed moment.”

Bishop Tobin had previously floated the weekend of May 30 and 31 as a target date for re-opening, since it is Pentecost, often called the birthday of the Christian Church.

He noted in a tweet a few weeks ago that Catholics were demanding to be allowed to go back to church.

 

More recently, he suggested that Roger Williams, a nonconforming cleric who founded Rhode Island after being kicked out of toe-the-line Puritan Massachusetts in the 1600s, might be surprised to see the government keeping churches closed.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, a Democrat, said she expects that churches will be able to offer communion, as long as they refrain from sharing communion wine, which Catholics believe is the actual blood of Jesus.

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