San Antonio mayor advises caution as churches prepare to reopen

Catholic mass to resume starting May 19

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg urged church leaders to responsibly decide whether to open their doors at this time.

“What I would suggest to those who are a little bit on the fence is to really take a look at the congregations and their facilities,” Nirenberg said.

San Antonio archbishop announces when local parishes can reopen

The Mayor says many congregations are made up of vulnerable populations like the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

“If it would risk too many members of your congregation maybe consider waiting a little while longer,” he said.

While the Mayor says all of the places of worship have been proactive in slowing the spread, he says another factor church leaders should consider before opening is whether the facility allows for the necessary safety precautions. Some things to consider is whether the space is large enough to maintain social distancing between parishioners and if mask usage can be enforced.

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller announced Monday that than 170 parishes across San Antonio will be allowed to resume daily mass next week with new precautions and protocols.

On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General’s office sent a letter to Bexar County and San Antonio leaders saying that local executive orders exceeded lawful authority on several issues including a directive limiting the number of people at church services.

“The state’s orders do not allow for such limits,” the letter from Paxton’s office said.

RELATED: San Antonio Catholic churches make changes in preparation for reopening

Watch Mayor Ron Nirenberg answer viewer questions on the News at 9 below.

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