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COVID-19 Coronavirus: UK Bishops, first assessment of lockdown. Streamed Masses – a success. Initiatives for the poor and the homeless

(London) “These are very difficult times for some Catholics who endure the real pain of being separated from their communities, especially if they do not have access to the technology that allows them to watch the Mass online. But for others, this can be an opportunity to rediscover their faith. Also, the end of the lockdown will arouse different reactions in the faithful. While some are eager to return to the Church, others may not come back, having filled their Sundays with other things”. This is according to Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel and Brighton, and Bishop John Arnold of Salford, who provided a picture of the Catholic faithful in England and Wales since the closure of churches on 23 March. The prelates made an assessment of the situation during a Zoom conference, organised by the Communications Office of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, which was also an opportunity to present the latest initiatives for the Holy Week. “The response to the streaming of masses and other celebrations has been incredible, a real success”, the Archbishop of Birmingham said. “Like the request to provide chaplains for hospitals, including the Nightingale Hospital, recently built in the Ex-Cel Centre, London’s former dock area. And many ecumenical projects have been set up throughout the country to help the homeless and the most disadvantaged”.

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