Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn has said the Government’s recent announcement limiting the number of people at gatherings indoors to 100 will have “significant implications for Sunday Mass and our Easter celebrations”.
“We have heard a short time ago that gatherings of more than 100 people are to be cancelled. This will have significant implications for Sunday Mass and our Easter celebrations. We are carefully and calmly reviewing the advice from the Ministry of Health and will keep you informed of all decisions we have been obliged to make,” he said.
The bishop said he would give people more information as it came to hand.
Bishop Dunn reiterated his earlier call for people who are ill or self-isolating to “just stay at home”.
“The Mass is the core and source of our Catholic identity. But if you are ill, self-isolating or believe that attending Mass would put others at risk, please stay home,” he said.
“You are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass under these circumstances. Older adults, people with underlying medical conditions, and family members of such individuals should take special care in discerning Mass attendance,” the bishop added.
Bishop Dunn said he will be celebrating an “on-line Mass” this Sunday that can be accessed through the Auckland Catholic diocese website. (www.aucklandcatholic.org.nz)
“There is also a range of existing options from other places which are listed on our Liturgy Centre website. We are also engaging with radio and television broadcasters to investigate other means of presenting our liturgies,” he said.
The bishop said he will keep updating people on the measures the diocese is taking to keep people safe. “As we know, this is a rapidly-changing situation,” he said.
“At times like these, our faith will help sustain us, and united with Christ we are never alone. Just as Jesus will never abandon us, so too is the Church committed to walking alongside all who are distressed and suffering,” Bishop Dunn stressed.