Bishop Michael Duca

The Roman Catholic bishop of Baton Rouge says that with Tropical Storm Barry approaching Louisiana, area Catholics who cannot get to Mass are excused.

In a statement Friday evening, Bishop Michael Duca said Catholics do not need to attend Mass if they cannot reach churches safely.

“Catholics are urged to use good judgment as to whether to attend Mass this weekend," Duca wrote. "Those who feel they would be in danger to do so are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass.

"Priests of the diocese will celebrate Mass in their respective parishes according to their regular weekend schedules unless circumstances mandate otherwise, and the faithful who do attend should exercise extreme caution in using the roadways of the diocese during the storm and in its aftermath. We pray through the intercession of Our Lady of Prompt Succor that all people of the diocese get through this emergency situation without personal harm or severe damage to property.”