Archbishop Nelson Pérez released the following statement at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17:
As the Archbishop of Philadelphia, my first priority is to ensure the health and welfare of those entrusted to the pastoral and temporal care of our Church. So, in light of the developing Coronavirus pandemic, a decision has been made to suspend the public celebration of all Masses in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia effective at 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18th and until further notice.
All of us need to do our part to slow the spread of this illness. Like you, we are monitoring #coronavirus developments and look forward to continuing our lives on a more normal basis.
While things may look and feel different during these uncertain times, I want to be very clear that the #CatholicChurch in #Philadelphia is not closing down. It is not disappearing and it will not abandon you. Time and again as our history has proven the Church has risen to meet great challenges and provide a beacon of hope and light.
As your Shepherd, I promise that the Church remains steadfast and is prepared to walk with you and serve you. Neither the Church nor its charitable works will stop. God is always by our side. He never abandons us. I invite you to join me in prayerful solidarity for the intentions of the sick, suffering, and their caregivers as well as government and health officials. With God’s grace and blessing, we will navigate the difficult waters of this challenge as a united human family, for after all is said and done, we are people of #Hope!