In the most recent BB Neighbourhoods #223 31 August, Bishop Anthony writes to the people of the Diocese about the ‘struggles and worries… being shouldered in our community of the Church.’ Some people have been very critical of him for not ‘defending the Church’ with reference to the closure of church buildings and vented publicly on social media and in anonymous and abusive letters. He points out the challenges our civic leaders are facing in dealing with the pandemic and the impact on us all, physical, emotional and spiritual. Our inability to gather for Mass is a great sadness but Bishop Anthony reminds us:
‘Mass is being celebrated throughout the Diocese on a daily basis by myself and the priests. They are not private Masses, as Mass is never a private affair. When the Mass is celebrated, the whole Church celebrates, and every member of the Body of Christ is present at the altar of sacrifice through the communion of saints. To argue otherwise is to misunderstand the very nature of the Church and the mystery of the Mass. In the ritual offering of the bread and wine, the priest gathers up and offers the prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of every member of the community of the Church….
‘My brothers and sisters, I urge you to remain strong in these challenging times…. Each member of the community must take responsibility for his or her own actions in caring for the whole community of the Church and of society. As the community of the Church, it is important that we focus on our spiritual life by creating meaningful engagement with God and with each other, despite the lockdown limitations. I encourage you to continue to pray, to make spiritual communion, to read the Scriptures, and to sanctify each day through the power of the Holy Spirit.’
The full text of Bishop Anthony’s letter can be accessed at the following link:
Link to Bishop Anthony’s letter: