Concerns About Ebola Lead to Travel Ban for Rochester Priests
Concerns about the Ebola crisis have led to a travel ban for Catholic priests in the Diocese of Rochester.
Diocese spokesman Doug Mandelaro says Bishop Salvatore Matano has asked that Rochester area priests refrain from traveling to any part of West Africa. If anyone were to violate the ban, they would not be allowed to return to the Rochester diocese.
"Part of that is, the bishop, his hands are tied if they go over to Africa and something happens, he couldn't bring them back to America. That would be a government thing,” Mandelaro said. “Obviously we would have to look at the reasons they violated the ban and the repercussions. We'd have to take it on a case by case basis."
Mandelaro does not expect any priests to violate the ban. He believes they understand that the bishop is concerned for everyone's safety.
There are currently about a dozen African priests working in the Rochester diocese as part of a cultural exchange program. Mandelaro said the bishop wanted them to know about the policy before they made any holiday travel plans.
Diocesan priests learned of the travel ban in a letter from the Reverend Edward Palumbos, the diocese director of priest personnel.