Bishop McKenna calls for a lift on restrictions placed on churches
Catholic Bishop of Bathurst Michael McKenna has called for churches to be included in the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in New South Wales next week.
Bishop McKenna congratulated the Government for the way it has led the State through these days of pandemic. He welcomed the careful new measures that will see pubs and other venues be allowed to serve up to 50 people at a time. But he is puzzled that, so far, there is no word on letting more people come to church.
“The NSW Catholic bishops wrote to the Premier at the beginning of May, outlining a step-by-step plan to safely re-open churches for worship,” he said. “It has been great to begin this with congregations of 10, and priests and parishioners have worked hard to follow all the rules necessary.”
“However, if it’s safe to have 50 people in a pub, it’s surely safe to have that number in a church. I’ve spent time in both, so I speak from experience,” Bishop McKenna said.
Although the Government has so far been non-committal in responding to the bishops’ call, Bishop McKenna is confident that churchgoers will not be forgotten as new regulations are rolled out.
“Church services are a truly an essential service,” he said.
The Archdiocese of Sydney has organised an online petition, asking for churches to be given equal treatment and stressing that we do not consider church attendance to be non-essential. If you would like to have your say via the online petition, it can be accessed at: https://www.sydneycatholic.org/petition/