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BRAINTREE -- Faced with uncertainty about when social distancing restrictions will be lifted, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley has decided to postpone the priesthood ordination in the Archdiocese of Boston until Aug. 1.
The cardinal's decision was communicated in an email letter to priests of the archdiocese, sent March 31 by Secretary for Ministerial Personnel Father Robert M. Blaney.
"This difficult decision was made out of the real possibility that we may very likely still be in a state of emergency by the middle of May," Father Blaney said in his letter.
In addition to delaying the ordination, Cardinal O'Malley has also decided to push back the date of new assignments and transfers for most priests, "Given the logistical challenges of social distancing as well as the great need to provide as much stability in our parishes as possible."
Those transfers, which traditionally take effect on June 1, have now been pushed back to Sept. 1, and all priests are being asked to remain in their current assignments until that date.
In his letter, Father Blaney also informed priests that the annual spring Presbyteral Convocation originally scheduled for May 18 will no longer be held as an in-person event, but that Cardinal O'Malley is considering holding a "virtual convocation" on that day.