NEW YORK – Despite a surge in COVID cases across New York City, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Friday that the Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral will continue to welcome guests at full capacity.

“We let our people know that we trust their judgement,” the cardinal said on the PIX11 Morning News.

Cardinal Dolan said those who are “fragile,” those of advanced age or someone in a compromised situation should stay home. 

“We’re ready to welcome a crowd. We do it very securely,” he added.

The event is free, but ticketed to ensure safety as the church can accommodate up to about 2,500 people.

“It’ll be a beautiful, healthy event,” the cardinal said.

Though they will not check a person’s vaccination status, Cardinal Dolan said there is a section for those unvaccinated to sit with social distancing.

When asked what his Christmas message is for everyone, the cardinal reminded everyone that people are not alone and they will get through it together.

While discussing COVID, the cardinal also said he does not intend to close Catholic schools for remote learning. 

All safety precautions are in effect and they are taking everything very seriously, he said.