CNA Staff, Apr 23, 2021 / 13:00 pm
The bishops of England and Wales asked parishes on Friday to reach out to people who have discovered Catholicism for the first time amid the pandemic.
In a reflection entitled “The Day of the Lord,” released April 22, the bishops urged Catholic communities to pay special attention to a group they called the “COVID curious.”
They said: “There are those whom we might describe as the ‘COVID curious,’ those who have come into contact with the Catholic Church through our presence on the internet -- a contact we may be able to develop through our continuing presence across diverse media platforms.”
Speaking at a virtual press conference on Friday, Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool noted that participation in Holy Week services was much higher at his cathedral this year than previously, thanks to the internet.
“We have discovered with online streaming, live streaming of Masses, that we get enormous congregations sometimes,” said McMahon, the vice-president of the English and Welsh bishops’ conference.
“I know, for example, in my own cathedral in Liverpool over the Holy Week and Easter ceremonies, we had something like 11,000 people attend -- which is probably three times, maybe, what we would have at the cathedral during Holy Week and Easter -- as well as those, of course, who were attending in person, because our doors were open for the whole week but with restricted numbers.”
The “COVID curious” is one of three groups that the bishops are asking parishes to focus on in the “post-pandemic recovery” period.