“As a result, our priests have been unable to offer Holy Mass with a congregation, despite the precautions that we had previously taken to combat the spread of COVID-19,” he added.
“As Easter approaches, I want to assure you that the Archdiocese is taking steps to advocate with the Provincial Government for a safe return to in-person attendance at Mass. It is my ardent hope that we can return from our extended ‘fast’ from the Eucharist and join together to celebrate the Lord’s Resurrection this Easter.”
Prior to the ban, Catholic churches in the region followed strict safety measures, such as mask-wearing and hand-sanitizing. The archdiocese had not seen any outbreaks tied to Church services, Miller stressed.
“While there have been no known COVID-19 transmissions or outbreaks within our churches, we continue to see reports of outbreaks at skiing facilities and local businesses that have been permitted to continue in their operations,” he said.
“I have no doubts that the ban on religious gatherings has had a detrimental effect on the spirituality and mental health of Catholics in British Columbia.”
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The government has acknowledged the archbishop’s statement and said it would respond “in the near future,” The B.C. Catholic reported.