Catholic Bishops Write To PM Over Restrictions On Religious Services

Catholic Bishops Write To PM Over Restrictions On Religious Services

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The New Zealand Catholic Bishops have written to the
Prime Minister urging the Cabinet to raise the limit on
numbers allowed at religious services to at least 100 when
it meets on Monday.

Their strongly-worded letter
follows the New Zealand Police today issuing guidelines
saying religious services are allowed under Covid-19 Alert
Level 2 as long as people sit in multiple groups of 10;
while the Ministry of Health issued a statement repeating
that no more than 10 people can attend such a
service.

NZ Catholic Bishops Conference
executive officer Siobhan Dilly said the bishops are
carefully studying the Police guidelines, which state
religious services can be held, as long as people attending
are seated in groups of no more than 10; each group is 2m
apart from the others; and that a register is kept of those
attending, for contract-tracing
purposes.

The bishops are also studying a
Ministry of Health statement, also issued today, that
repeats previous Level 2 limits of 10 people at “public
gatherings including church and faith-based
ones.”

Ms Dilly said the bishops acknowledge that
the Prime Minister has pledged to make an announcement on
Monday about the number of people who can attend faith-based
services.

“Given the difficulties many parishes
would have in arranging at this short notice a Mass this
weekend that would meet the Police guidelines, the bishops
will be discussing the issue with parish leaderships and
others over the weekend, in the hope of being able to make a
definitive announcement on Monday after hearing from the
Prime Minister,” Ms Dilly
said.

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