Priests raise concerns over re-opening of churches for Easter ceremonies

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) has expressed significant misgivings about re-opening churches for Easter ceremonies - believing it to be a premature and a potentially detrimental move.

A statement issued by the organisation outlined: "The ACP supports priests and pastoral councils in ministering to people while adhering to public health guidelines during this pandemic.

"We commend our archbishops in seeking to engage political leadership about public worship.

"Numerous priests (many elderly and not yet vaccinated) are Covid-19 frontline workers as they journey with families during sadness and bereavement.

"The ACP is concerned about calls for an Easter return to community worship.

"ACP members have significant misgivings about re-opening churches for Easter ceremonies, believing it to be a premature and potentially detrimental move.

"The post-Christmas surge in new Covid-19 cases and the threat from Covid-19 variants represent a persuasive evidence-based platform to strongly argue against an early return to congregational worship.

"Our hearts are lifted with the rollout of the vaccination programme.

"Faith, science, solidarity and empathy will serve us all well in our attempts to overcome this pandemic.

"Meanwhile, we continue to worship ‘in spirit and in truth’."

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