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The Church is the people of God—UPDATED (25/03) pastoral statement and parish directives as a result of coronavirus (COVID–19)

March 24, 2020

The Church is the people of God

PASTORAL STATEMENT BY BISHOP BRIAN MASCORD
Updated parish directives as a result of coronavirus (COVID–19)

25 March 2020

To my Sisters and Brothers in Christ

The changes surrounding the sacramental life of our Church are evolving daily as a result of COVID-19. Following further directives from the Prime Minister last night, the following increased sacramental restrictions will apply from midnight tonight 25 March 2020. These directives will likely change again shortly following further advice from the National Cabinet.

Weddings

Weddings can continue to be held with a maximum of five (5) people in attendance. The five people consist of the celebrant, bride, groom and two witnesses. Under no circumstances can this limit be exceeded.

Funerals

Funerals can continue to be held with no more than ten (10) people in attendance including the celebrant. Under no circumstances can this limit be exceeded.

Baptisms

Baptisms should be delayed. If there is a risk of death, the child should be baptised with not more than six (6) people in attendance which includes the parents, two godparents, the celebrant and the child being baptised.

Confession

The Sacrament of Confession will be suspended during this time of pandemic. Physical and moral impossibility excuses a person from confession, in which case reconciliation may be attained by other means, for example an act of perfect contrition. (Canon 960) An act of perfect contrition can be made by saying these or similar words: “My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. I should love you above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin”.

I know these changes may cause sorrow and pain and my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected. Please continue to join me in prayer for all those impacted by this crisis.

Yours in Christ

Most Rev Brian G Mascord DD
Bishop of Wollongong
25 March 2020

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