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Church News

UK Catholic churches prepare to suspend Mass

by Ruth Sax

The Archbishop of Westminster warns Catholic churches in England and Wales are preparing to suspend Mass in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols explained on Saturday's BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Masses might have to be cancelled if the disease spreads further.

The Cardinal said: "We follow official [Government] and are preparing for the right thing and the right time."

"For some time we have been trying to minimise those points at which infection might be passed on. This is a long haul and we're taking it gently and steadily".

He explained that churches had already abandoned the sign of peace and that it was "simple and sensible" to make another gesture such as a bow to fellow Mass-goers.

Cardinal Nichols encouraged people to look out for others: "We have to nurture and treasure the elderly and to think of others even when we go shopping."

The Archbishop of Westminster said that the Church had a solution should Masses be cancelled: "We can stream these celebrations and then people can join in and follow Mass through that virtual link," explaining the online streaming of services would be available if necessary. 

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