Cardinal speaks about re-opening of churches for individual prayer
Posted: Wed, 10 Jun 2020 19:31
In a podcast this week, Cardinal Vincent Nichols spoke from Westminster Cathedral on how re-opening churches safely for private prayer is an important first step as society begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
From Monday 15 June, churches can open for individual prayer, by following guidelines to prepare for reopening and to maintain safety standards in respect to virus transmission
The Cardinal said, 'The announcement that was made on Sunday (7 June) about the opening of churches on 15 June was quite explicit. It said it was for individual prayer, and it explicitly said that this does not include the celebration of Mass with a public congregation present. So that has to wait – and it has to wait for all sorts of reasons. Obviously announcing a public celebration of Mass draws people together and therefore creates a group, a large group, even if it's limited to some extent. It also involves much closer physical contact, particularly in the distribution of Holy Communion, and customarily, it would involve some singing and public shared proclamation. And all of those things, we're told, have an element of risk of the transmission of this virus. So we have to be patient and we have to cooperate with public authorities on these public health issues. That's a grave responsibility that we have.'
Read the transcript and listen to the podcast on the website of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
The guidelines drawn up by the church can be downloaded below.