update 12th May 2020
Catholic Bishops respond to Government’s lockdown easing plans
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has responded to the government’s document released on, 11 May,
titled ‘Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy’.
The timing and the manner of the opening of churches touches profound sensitivities and spiritual needs.
The Government’s document and statements fail to recognise this. The Government’s position, established today, includes these steps aimed at opening churches as soon as possible: the establishment of a task force for places of worship, to work closely with ‘stakeholders’ in ensuring that premises are COVID-19 secure; and heeding the experience of other countries in which churches are already open for worship. In dialogue with the Government, the Catholic Church will continue its engagement in this process and has already submitted a detailed plan, in full accordance with public health guidelines, for churches to be opened for private prayer. The Church is ready to play its full part in the task force, understanding that this includes the possible earlier use of churches for private prayer,
as a first safe step towards their use for public worship.
Cardinal: A big ‘thank-you’ to all those caring for others during the COVID-19 pandemic
Speaking ahead of a series of special Thursday evening Masses for the sick, their families, NHS staff, and those working in Social Care, Cardinal Vincent Nichols has expressed his “deep appreciation” for all those caring for others during the coronavirus pandemic.
Acknowledging the community solidarity behind the ‘Clap for our Carers’ initiative that has seen millions applauding NHS staff and
health workers from their doors and windows for the past four weeks, Cardinal Nichols said:
“Now what we want to do, is add to that public applause, the practice of public prayer. So every Thursday at 7 o’clock, a bishop will celebrate Mass in one of the cathedrals for the care workers. We will begin here in Westminster Cathedral.”
Encouraging Catholics to follow Mass and pray before the 8pm applause, Cardinal Nichols said:
“Use that time before 8 o’clock on a Thursday to offer your prayers of thanksgiving for these generous, courageous people, for their support – their encouragement – [and pray] that God will sustain them in this great work that they’re doing.
We applaud, but we pray and we pray fervently for them. May God bless them all.”
Click on the link for Cardinal Vincent Nichols full address
Full Closure of Catholic Churches
Following the Prime Minister’s historic announcement on 23rd March on strengthening restrictions in an attempt to combat
the spread of COVID-19, Catholic Churches are closed to the public at this time.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols stresses that we must all play our part to safeguard the NHS and to save ‘precious lives’.
“We’re going to play our full part in it. That was the call of St. Paul that we ought to be good citizens and today we ought to be good citizens playing our part in the protection of the vulnerable, in our support for the NHS and in the preserving of human life,
which is so precious to God in the face of this virus.”
Click on the link for Cardinal Vincent Nichols full address.
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection.