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Many Temples And Churches Cancel In-Person Worship Services

Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland is one of many churches telling congregants to stay home [Trinity Cathedral]

Many Northeast Ohio houses of worship are telling members to stay home from services.  

Park Synagogue in Pepper Pike canceled its weekend services telling its congregants by email: "viruses do not avoid religious gatherings any more than concerts and NBA games."

Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland suspended in-person worship for the rest of March and will livestream services in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through public gatherings.

“The cathedral is a public space,” said Dean B.J. Owens. ”We’ve been here for 200 years, and we really have a sense of our civic responsibility to Cleveland.”

Messaging from public health officials about the urgency of action led to the decision, Owens said.

When asked about his message to congregants and the community in an anxious time, Owens said: “While I think we need to take very seriously what’s going on, we need to be fearless – fearless in loving one another, fearless in trusting that God is here with us and in reaching out in doing everything we can to help one another.”

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland also announced Thursday Catholics are not obligated to attend mass this month.

Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.