PORTLAND, Maine — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has suspended the obligation of Catholics to attend Mass on Sunday due to the inclement weather.

Bishop Richard J. Malone, apostolic administrator for the diocese, issued a statement late Saturday announcing the decision.

“Diocesan-wide dispensations are not granted easily and without good reason, but out of concern for the Catholic faithful, diocesan clergy and staff, I have deemed it necessary,” he said. “This announcement does not cancel Masses throughout the diocese. It simply excuses individuals who decide that it is too dangerous to venture outside for Mass and affirms that their decision can be made in good conscience and without the burden of guilt.

“I ask that both priests and parishioners exercise extreme caution and prudence when making the decision to travel,” Malone said. “Please contact your local parish for further information about their plans. Join me in praying for the safety of all during this storm.”