Has the Sunday obligation to go to Mass ever been dispensed of due to some serious communcable disease?
I am interested in knowing if Rome (the pope) ever permitted the faithful to refrain from going to Sunday Mass due to some communicable disease or other historical serious circumstances due to disease?
I am aware that the sick and infirm are dispensed of this holy obligation, but I would like to know if this ever extended to an entire region or area? I will deliberately exclude Catholic soldiers during times of wars.
A few years ago, in our diocese, the bishop suppressed the sign of peace for certain length of time due to the avian flue epidemic. But the sign of peace is already optional during the celebration of the Mass.