Writing on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, the five Metropolitan Archbishops have addressed the COVID-19 pandemic and, specifically, the measures taken and restrictions imposed to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Writing of the life-changing conditions – especially changes in health and human interaction – the Archbishops point to the risen Lord as a beacon of hope in these challenging times and recognize that live-streamed Mass and other devotions help maintain the faith but are second-best to worshipping in Church:
“None of us would want to be in the situation in which we find ourselves,” they write. “While the live-streaming of the Mass and other devotions is playing an important part in maintaining the life of faith, there is no substitute for Catholics being able to physically attend and participate in the celebration of the Mass and the other sacraments. Our faith is expressed powerfully and beautifully though ‘seeing, touching, and tasting.’ We know that every bishop and every priest recognizes the pain of Catholics who, at present, cannot pray in church or receive the sacraments. This weighs heavily on our hearts.”