Rome Newsroom, Dec 3, 2020 / 09:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
Bishops in France have welcomed new government measures that will allow more people to attend public Masses during Advent.
Gérald Darmanin, French Minister of the Interior, announced Dec. 2 a change to a previously proposed 30-person limit on attendance of public Masses after France’s highest administrative court overturned the restriction in response to a legal appeal by the Catholic bishops’ conference.
Under the revised measures, people will be required to leave two free seats between each person or family and to only occupy every other pew.
The French bishops’ conference issued a statement Dec. 2 calling the new measure “more realistic” as it is proportionate to each church’s building capacity.
The bishops said that the new measure would apply through the next two Sundays of Advent and then should be reevaluated on Dec. 15 on the basis of the latest health data. They expressed hope that Christmas liturgies would be able to take place with “the least possible restriction.”