Cardinal Raymond Burke: “Churches must stay open despite coronavirus”
Roman Catholic Church Cardinal Raymond Burke has called on churches to continue holding worship services and making the sacraments available despite the coronavirus pandemic. Over the past several weeks, large numbers of churches of all denominations have taken to canceling worship services to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Cardinal Raymond Burke posted a statement on his website last week offering his views on the question of whether churches should close.
“Just as we are able to purchase food and medicine, while taking care not to spread the coronavirus in the process, so also we must be able to pray in our churches and chapels, receive the sacraments, and engage in acts of public prayer and devotion, so that we know God’s closeness to us and remain close to Him, fittingly calling upon His help,” Burke wrote.
He also said he believes there are ways to adapt mass and the sacraments to be compatible with “social distance,” such as having worshipers sit farther apart and applying disinfectant to the screen between cells in a confessional.
“Even if, for whatever reason, we are unable to have access to our churches and chapels, we must remember that our homes are an extension of our parish, a little church into which we bring Christ from our encounter with Him in the bigger church,” Burke added.