Petition to the Chief Minister of the ACT

To the Chief Minister of the ACT,

The Catholic Community in the ACT wishes to thank you for your leadership during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Catholic Community has and will continue to cooperate fully with the ACT Government in combatting COVID-19.

We request:

That the Catholic Community be permitted to conduct religious services with no more than 50 persons from 11.59pm Friday 19 June 2020.

Our reasons:

  • Our Churches are large public buildings that can easily comply with the 1 per 4sqm rule and satisfy hygiene requirements.
  • This is consistent with 50 people allowed for funeral services from 11.59pm Friday May 29 2020 (Canberra’s Recovery Plan).
  • This is consistent with 50 persons allowed for concert venues, theatres, gyms, health clubs, fitness or wellness centres from 11.59pm on Friday 19 June 2020 (Canberra’s Recovery Plan).
  • This is consistent with the neighbouring state of NSW which permits 50 persons at religious ceremonies from Monday 1 June 2020.

Your reasons:

  • As you correctly said, “We must face the reality that, as a Territory within NSW, it would be impossible for the ACT to have different arrangements than those in our surrounding region.” (22nd March 2020)
  • That the ACT would move “in concert and in discussion” with NSW. (13th April 2020)

Thank you in expectation,

ACT Catholic Community

June 2020



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Wordpress (25)
  • Paul Burt 3 years

    These arguments seem appropriate to the current circumstances. There have been no new cases of corona virus infection in the ACT for several weeks now, and social distancing, hand hygiene and other standard precautions will continue to be practised both in the wider community and in churches 

  • Joseph Schleiger 3 years

    Makes sense 

  • margaret reynolds 3 years

    There is plenty of space in our Churches for more in the congregation with space apart.I wish our democratic rights to worship be observed Asap, please.I am sick and tired of discussion about NRL and cricket on my TV set along with many people I know. our spiritual health is of far greater is nearly totally lacking in Public life and we can see the trouble worldwide because of this lack.

    • Keith Verrills 3 years

      I agree with Margaret Reynolds. JUST OEN OUR CHURCHES! Forget 50! CHURCHES SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN CLOSED!On Saturday we saw how the atheist riddled Lnberal Party and Labor party couldn’t care less if ens of thousands of their fellow atheist Lefties gathered together on the streets in cities atoned Australia including Canberra! No social distancing for atheists! And not one 1000 dollar fine!

      • Marie Elspeth James 3 years

        Keith, I wonder what Jesus Christ say in response to your words. God bless and protect you

      • Wanda Pienkowska 3 years

        Keith, you are absolutely right.  It looks that we have very different standards for different people.  What about  equal rules to everybody?  Aren’t we are all on the same “boat” in this pandemic situation?  Rallies for thousands were permitted but to go to the church is dangerous????  Is any logic behind that?  Sorry but it’s hard to  understand that.

  • Carmel 3 years

    I totally agree with Margaret  Reynolds. I have been struggling with the notion that sports and other things are more important in our country and appear to be the new religion. 

  • Lucia Alvarez 3 years

    For us like the Christian, our spiritual life is very important, we need to visit the church and pray together and have retreat and learning more about our faith and give support each other. I hope very soon, we will have normal Christian life with the open Churches.

  • Raymond Thrift 3 years

    Thank you.Mr Barr. We will pray for you also  cheers

  • Catherine Bandle 3 years

    I think it is now time for us to be able to celebrate together in our churches

  • Clare Walmsley 3 years

    The fact that the minister is allowing theatres to have 50 people present before our catholic churches are, is showing a total lack of respect and understanding of our catholic culture and our beliefs.

    I am very annoyed that this minister holds the holy catholic church with such disregard and such little respect that he would put concerts and theatres above or on the same level as our right to worship in the catholic church.
    The church is more than any essential service and I am annoyed how our church and the “King of Kings” has been treated by this minister.

  • Paul Forka 3 years

    It looks the ACT Government is anti religion. They should allow us to practice our faith

  • Brendan Ryan 3 years

    thousands of people allowed to congregate to demonstrate to a cause that has no direct relevance to our community. Yet as Catholics we are restricted to 20 persons interacting with their God in his Church. Priorities !!!!???

  • Anne Prendergast 3 years

    I am not at all surprised at the attitude of the Chief Minister, but as I would do anything for the Catholic Church, I will add my name to the petition and urge the ACT Government to allow the Catholic community to be able to increase the number of people able to attend Mass and other religious services to 50 people at a time. There is plenty of room in our Church for 50 people to attend Mass and other Church events and still practice social distancing.

  • John Clegg 3 years

    As ex residents of the ACT now residing in Adelaide my wife and I have been both blessed and privileged to be able to witness Archbishop Prowse wonderful Mass services and Sunday homily’s via the Catholic Voice medium. God bless those responsible for making this possible. As Catholics we must remain strong in light of all the adversities we are experiencing in our seemingly material and selfish world. The live stream aspect of attending Mass on a daily basis if one chooses to has given us solace, but praying with others especially our dear friends on a regular basis at a place of worship should be resuming immediately.

  • Christine Riley 3 years

    I agree as N.S.W.already has 50 people at least in the archdiocese of Sydney.

  • Greg SMITH 3 years

    After the ludicrous permissions for the recent demonstrations given by Mr Barr and the Police Minister, perhaps the Church should be requesting approval of unlimited numbers for “demonstrations against infidels and atheists”rather than as religious services.

  • Marie Elspeth James 3 years

    I am bothered by some ofthe negative comments made, and don’t believe any good purpose is served by them. It would serve us better to accept the freedom granted to sporting activities, and social groups. Many a sporting fan is also a good Christian person, and they would respond better to positive messages and may respond in like,and support our request for similar freedom of gathering.
    Jesus asked us to do unto others as we would have them do to us. Love and kindness are more positively responded to than anger.

    • Doug McIntyre 3 years

      Marie, the Church is not seeking special treatment, but simply “equal” treatment. Catholics are not doormats.

  • Bernadette Rayner 3 years

    Praying that our leaders show equality, respect  and wisdom in their decisions. 

  • Simon David 3 years

    The atheists who run the government are really enjoying this. So much for separation of church and state.

  • Babs 3 years

    Would love to be able to attend my church again. I tried to attend ‘Mass on line’but there was no sound so it was a sad time. Thanks for being there for us. The loneliness has been heartbreaking for all. If others can be at protests, pubs, etc. Why can’t we observe the metre distance to practice our religion in safety.?
    At 86 and in remission from cancer I began to think I would never receive our Blessed Lord again. There must be many waiting that day the Church doors open. The tears will fall to have the Eucharist again.

  • Lucy 3 years

    ACT gov. is agains the Catholic Faith. We need our Churches. We are not going on group destroying every thing on our pass, we need our prayers.

  • deesa 3 years

    So many in our neighbourhoods are doing their best, yet could so benefit from time in presence with their Saviour at Mass. We can be mindful of social distance and covid safety and saving our full singing for outside the church. The Roman Missal ICEL provides the mass setting for gentle singing of the mass as we ride out the covid storm in the refuge of our God. God bless all.

  • Kim 3 years

    It’s time for us to gather again please