Critics of the decision have argued that church gatherings could result in additional outbreaks of the coronavirus, which has led to more than 93,000 deaths in the U.S., according to the CDC.
However, Wang said that he thinks careful guidelines can aid in efforts to prudently reopen churches. He told CNA that he finds Trump's announcement "very encouraging."
"I think those of us who are Catholic would probably view attending Mass as essential," he commented.
The guidelines laid out in the "Road Map to Re-Opening our Catholic Churches Safely" are the fruit of careful consideration, he said. They address the major points that are currently known about the transmission of the coronavirus.
In implementing the guidelines, he said, parishes will need to take local context into account. For example, a large suburban church with a sizable parking lot may be able to hold an outdoor Mass, while an urban church may find it more difficult to do so.
He also noted that the road map is "a document made by doctors, not by liturgists, so the considerations are really purely medical" and may need to be adapted as deemed appropriate by Church authorities.
In developing the document, Wang said, "what we spent the lion share of our time on was the Eucharist, because that is a bit of special case that the grocery store or Walmart may not have."
"The moment where you take the host, that presented really a special challenge…This was discussed at length, so that we all had a consensus on what would be safest practices for that particular moment."
Ultimately, the group of doctors concluded that the safest recommendation is to receive communion in the hand rather than on the tongue.
Wang referenced a recent study showing it is much easier to pick up the virus from saliva than a nasal swab.
While full information about the risk remains unknown, he said, "receiving on the tongue in this case, with this particular virus, may present higher risk" than reception in the hand.
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Although he acknowledged that some people may object to this, Wang said that in his perspective, "it boils down to, is it better to not have communion at all - and by extension not have Mass at all?"
He added that the document's guidelines are recommendations, but that priests and bishops can do as they see fit.
Wang also addressed the concern that HVAC systems may contribute to the spread of the coronavirus, moving contaminated air particles around even if people are spaced out within a church.
Outdoor Mass would be ideal at addressing this particular concern, he said, but it may not be logistically feasible at all parishes.
Still, he said, after a lengthy discussion, "our assessment of the literature was that it was not entirely clear that the circulation of air was necessarily something that would be limiting." He noted that grocery stories, research labs, and other indoor facilities would also be similarly problematic if HVAC systems played a significant role in spreading the virus.
Ultimately, Wang said, going to church at this time is not risk-free, just as any other public activity is not without risk during a pandemic. He noted that dioceses throughout the country have granted dispensations from the Sunday obligation for those who are unable to attend or are not comfortable with the risk involved.