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Coronavirus Covid-19: England, lockdown Regulations passed. Catholic bishops, “despite doubts, we are responsible citizens and we abide by the law”

“Despite deep doubts, it is important for us, as responsible citizens, to abide by such Regulations that are legally binding”. “We do it in sympathy with many others, who are submitted to restrictions that have a serious impact on their lives and means of subsistence”. This has been written by card. Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster and primate of the English Catholic Church, and by archbishop Malcolm McMahon, in a release issued the day after the enforcement of the Regulations, passed by the English Parliament yesterday and laying down the rules on lockdown and therefore many other areas of activities all over England until 2nd December. Such regulations ban gatherings of people for communal worship in churches and other religious buildings. However, churches can stay open and can be used for activities other than communal worship, including personal prayer and support to people in need. In addition, funeral ceremonies are allowed. “It is important to be aware – the two archbishops write – that such regulations are not an attack against religious faith. However, they show a fundamental incomprehension of the essential contribution made by communities of faith to the wellbeing, resilience and health of our society. At this difficult time, we ask that, as a Catholic community, we make the most of our churches as places for personal prayer and as sources of comfort and support”. Then, the primate encourages the Catholic devotees across the country to join in prayer every day at 06.00 pm and announces that the vigil for Christ the King (21st November) will be a day of prayer for the end of this pandemic.

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