The Diocese of Rochester welcomes the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in New York State, a sign of continued progress to end the pandemic and an answer to our prayers. In light of the Governor’s action, the following guidelines have been issued to our parishes:
— Masks will not be required at Mass for fully vaccinated people. However, the State has indicated that “unvaccinated individuals continue to be responsible for wearing masks, in accordance with federal CDC guidance.”
— As a continued precaution until further notice: Holy Communion is to be distributed only under one form, namely the Sacred Host. The exchange of the sign of peace can be omitted or only encouraged without shaking or holding hands. Holy water fonts will remain empty. Baptisms continue to use only fresh water for each baptism and the fonts cleaned afterwards. Churches should be kept clean and continue to assure good ventilation by introducing fresh air, whenever possible.
— Parishes should consider offering some “social distancing” seating for those who wish to continue this practice but the general population will not be required to social distance per the state’s recent announcement.
We continue to pray for all those who suffered illness and loss as a result of this tragic pandemic and for all those medical and emergency personnel and other essential workers who so selflessly served our community during this most challenging time.
The Diocese of Rochester has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to approve a $35 million settlement agreement with certain underwriters at Lloyd’s London, London Market Insurers and Interstate Fire and Casualty Co., which are among the major insurers involved in our bankruptcy case. A hearing has been scheduled for July 9, 2021.
We believe this settlement, if approved, is a significant step forward in our goal of achieving a fair and equitable Reorganization Plan – the vast majority of which will be funded by our insurers – that will compensate the survivors of sexual abuse who have filed claims in our Chapter 11 case.
While the funding provided under this settlement is only a portion of the eventual “Survivors Fund” to be established to settle those claims, it is a significant and substantial one. The agreement seeks to overcome a halt in the mediation, and, if approved, will avoid further litigation between the Diocese and these specific insurers – legal proceedings that would be quite costly, reduce available funds for survivors and perhaps delay by years the conclusion of this process.
We hope for the Court’s approval and we pray this settlement will be a catalyst for fruitful dialogue and progress in negotiations among the remaining concerned parties in the case. We are committed to all reasonable efforts to bring this Chapter 11 case to a conclusion for the sake of survivors and the continued mission of the Diocese of Rochester.
The Diocese has acted in good faith over the course of multiple mediation sessions and is committed to continuing those good faith negotiations with its insurers and the Creditors Committee. The Diocese believes that continued dialogue and negotiation among the Diocese, its insurers and the Creditors Committee that is guided by reasonable and realistic expectations on the part of all concerned and a dedication to swift and just resolution for survivors is the best and proper course to benefit survivors.
As we stated when we filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2019, the Diocese’s goal is to bring this matter to a conclusion as soon as possible in order to continue the work of healing and reconciliation, both for survivors and our diocesan family.
Saturday, June 5, 2021, 2:00 p.m – 3:00 p.m., led by Bishop Matano
Please join us on the eve of Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Saturday, June 5, 2021, at 2:00 p.m.
The Eucharistic Procession will begin at Christ Our Light Mausoleum and, weather permitting, proceed through areas of Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, praying to Jesus Christ, present in the Most Holy Eucharist, for those who have died during the pandemic and all interred at the cemetery.
The faithful are asked to meet in front of the Christ Our Light mausoleum. All are welcome.