The Catholic Church in England has strongly criticised the government’s new lockdown, saying banning communal worship is a cause of “anguish”.
England’s four-week lockdown will see most religious services banned. Funerals will still be allowed, with a maximum of 30 attending.
The Catholic Church Bishops’ Conference has demanded the government give its reasons for stopping services.
It said communal worship had helped many during the pandemic.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Malcolm McMahon, president and vice president of the association, also stressed that churches had acted responsibly and been Covid-safe.
“It is… a source of deep anguish now that the government is requiring, once again, the cessation of public communal worship,” the bishops said in a statement.
“Whilst we understand the many difficult decisions facing the government, we have not yet seen any evidence whatsoever that would make the banning of communal worship, with all its human costs, a productive part of combating the virus.
“We ask the government to produce this evidence that justifies the cessation of acts of public worship.” (BBC)