The power of pen on paper
Archbishop Christopher Prowse has encouraged Catholics to put their name to a petition calling on the ACT government to boost Mass numbers to 50.
More than 1200 Catholics have signed the petition since it was kicked off a week ago, including the Archbishop.
But more signatures are needed to show the strength of a Catholic community eager to return to parishes to pray and be together.
The petition asks for equal treatment with gyms, theatres and concert venues which will be permitted 50 people from 11.59pm on Friday June 19.
The petition to Chief Minister Andrew Barr calls on the government to increase Mass numbers from 20 to 50 at the same time.
Masses in New South Wales have been allowed 50 parishioners since June 1, meaning the Archdiocese faces different rules for NSW and Canberra parishes.
“I encourage Catholics to read about our efforts to increase the numbers of Catholics able to attend Masses,” the Archbishop said.
“There is an electronic petition you may wish to sign. I have signed it and encourage you to do the same.”
The petition outlines the Archdiocese’s reasons for the request including:
- Churches are large public buildings that can easily comply with physical distancing and hygiene requirements,
- It is consistent with 50 people allowed for funerals since May 29,
- It is consistent with 50 people allowed for concert venues, theatres, gyms, health clubs, fitness and wellness centres from 11.59pm on Friday 19 June 2020 and,
- It is consistent with NSW which gave the green light to 50 people attending Mass from June 1.
On March 22 he 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.”
In mid-April, Mr Barr said the ACT would move “in concert and in discussion” with NSW.