Full Closure of Catholic Churches - Statement from Bishops’ Conference.
Following the Prime Minister’s historic announcement last night (23 March) strengthening restrictions in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, Catholic Churches are closed to the public at this time.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
If a person asks for the Sacrament of Reconciliation please advise them that, for their own safety and yours, this will not be possible at this time. Please make them aware of the statement by Pope Francis which is included below:
“I know that many of you go to confession before Easter … many will say to me: ‘But Father ….. I cannot leave the house and I want to make my peace with the Lord. I want Him to embrace me ….. How can I do that unless I find a priest?’ Do what the catechism says. It is very clear. If you don’t find a priest to go to confession, speak to God. He is your Father. Tell Him the truth: ‘Lord, I did this and this and this. Pardon me.’ Ask His forgiveness with all your heart with an act of contrition, and promise Him, ‘afterward I will go to confession.’ You will return to God’s grace immediately. You yourself can draw near, as the catechism teaches us, to God’s forgiveness, without having a priest at hand.”
Request from Pope Francis For Wednesday 25 March
Pope Francis has called on the world’s Christians and people of goodwill to join together to pray the Lord’s Prayer on Wednesday, 25 March at 11am UK time (midday in Rome). On Friday 27 March at 5pm UK time (6pm Rome), the Pope will pray on the steps of St Peter’s basilica. Although the square will be empty, there will be a period of Adoration and readings from Scripture. At the end of the service, the Holy Father will impart his Urbi et Orbi blessing and will offer a Plenary indulgence for the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can watch on the Vatican Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxIsefyl9g9A5SGWA4FvGIA