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Washington state bishops respond to Trump's push to reopen churches: 'We will wait'

Bishops from the Washington State Catholic Conference responded to President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE's calls for state governors to reopen churches, saying, "We will wait."

"We want to let you know the public celebration of Mass was suspended, not out of fear, but out of our deepest respect for human life and health," reads a Friday statement signed by several bishops in a "unified response."

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Trump on Friday urged governors to "do the right thing" and reopen houses of worship immediately.

"If they don't do it, I will override the governors. America, we need more prayer, not less," he said.

However, the bishops indicated they are not yet ready to reconvene in-person services.

"While we share the desire to bring people back to Mass as quickly as possible, we will wait to schedule our public worship when it is safe and we are prepared to do so," the statement read.

The bishops' statement added that the state conference follows guidance from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Thomistic Institute, along with public health experts, and that is working to develop a plan with Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington county warns of at least 17 positive tests after 300-person wedding The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by UAE - US records 1 million COVID-19 cases in a week; governors crack down Washington state issues sweeping restrictions to combat coronavirus surge MORE (D) for a safe reopening.

"Parishes must create an environment that is not only safe, but is liturgically reverent," the bishops said, adding that there is no current date established for Mass gatherings resuming in the state.