Dr. Marek Laskiewicz from z Polska Wspólnota w Wielkiej Brytanii has launched the petition below to Cardinal Vincent Nichols:
Most Eminent Cardinal
Please would you re-open the churches for Holy Mass and all other ceremonies, notably christenings, weddings and funerals. This is possible to a substantial degree as part of a mitigated lockdown proposal (fully presented in my book ‘Covid-19 Lockdown Analysis’ and further justified in my paper ‘Public Health Policy Issues with the Reproductive number R’).
What I propose is that providing (above all) social distancing is maintained, including when entering and leaving a church, and hands are sanitised, there is a negligible risk of this Coronavirus spreading, so all Church ceremonies could be celebrated within these strictures. This also means that more than 10 people could attend; indeed it could be a church with as full a congregation as the social distancing restriction permits.
Such a step would be of great importance to all worshippers. Moreover it would be a step forward as the full lockdown policy implemented on the 23rd of March already specifically exempted individual worship, so allowing individual worship from next Monday is actually almost no advance at all.
Thus the latest measures by the Government to be carried out on the 15th of June to allow solely individual worship as part of its lockdown relaxation are unnecessarily inadequate, and indeed contrary to the communal spirit of the Catholic Church. Furthermore churches are more important than non-essential shops, which have been permitted to function, so churches should be as well.
Finally this mitigated lockdown policy ought to be implemented; for this virus or some other including a mutation, may strike in autumn, whereupon there would most probably be pressure to close the churches once more. If this policy had already been implemented by then, church closures would not be necessary providing (as stated) social distancing etc be observed.
Dr Marek Laskiewicz