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From April 19 the Bishops’ Session. Reopen, repeat

What would the UK “reopening” on 21 June mean for the Catholic Church when the government removes all legal restrictions on socialization if the data on coronavirus infections and deaths allow? Discussion on this issue will open the agenda of the plenary session of the Bishops of England and Wales on Monday 19 April.

The gathering will be held, for the second year in a row, via Zoom, until Friday the 23rd, rather than being hosted, as it is every year, at the Hensley Hall Pastoral Center in Leeds. The honorary bishops will meet in person only on Wednesday, in a conference room in a central London hotel, in the Victoria area, while auxiliaries and bishops who cannot get to the British capital will go online. “The bishops will talk about the opportunity to encourage people to return to church, instead of just coming online, once restrictions are removed and also about the possibility of continuing in both directions because many of the faithful have only been participating for some time now. In an online mass,” explains a conference spokesperson Bishops to SIR, “The bishops’ agenda will also include a discussion of what it means to attend in person, on Sundays, and how to organize christening, communication, affirmations and weddings which, in some parishes, have been suspended because of the new openings. Celebrating the sacraments in existence has become much easier.”

Reports of various departments will be presented on Tuesday, April 20. The Caritas Social Action Network, the organization that includes all Catholic associations and entities, will provide bishops with a report on the work done in recent months with food banks, hosting programs for the homeless and helping families in difficulty, the elderly and those on the margins of society. Wednesday, when the bishops meet in person in London, there will be an intervention from the Apostolic Delegate, Monsignor Claudio Gugiroti. At the conclusion of the plenary session, the Bishop in Charge of the Environment John Arnold will report on the environmental project “Guardians of Creation”, “Guardians of Creation”, which will include more than one hundred parishes and more than two hundred schools with the aim of bringing the Catholic Church in England and Wales to eliminate carbon dioxide emissions in response to the Pope’s call Frances Care for the Environment.

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