Archbishop presses for church closures to be reversed

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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP offers Mass in an empty St Mary’s Cathedral while thousands watch online from their homes. Image: Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney screenshot

Archbishop Fisher OP writes to Premier with request

In his fourth pastoral letter relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP expressed his hope that churches will soon be able to open.

He revealed that he has written to Premier Gladys Berejiklian on behalf of the NSW bishops, clergy and lay faithful, asking that as restrictions begin to be lifted, churches may be opened for private prayer and confessions.

“It’s likely that such a ‘soft opening’ will happen before we can resume public Masses,” Archbishop Fisher wrote in the letter dated 24 April.

“And whether it’s for prayers or Mass, we are determined to abide by government directives regarding numbers, density (or distancing) and hygiene.”

Speaking of what will “undoubtedly be one of the most memorable Holy Weeks and Easters we’ve ever celebrated” the archbishop also expressed his appreciation of the “flexibility, generosity and pastoral creativity” demonstrated by the clergy and lay faithful who sought to lead and serve through the COVID19 pandemic and Holy Week in an incredible variety of ways.

He also wrote about how it felt to celebrate Easter Mass in a near-empty St Mary’s Cathedral with members of the Abdallah and Sakr families to a television and online congregation of over a million viewers.

Read the whole letter at the Archdiocese of Sydney website.

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