Several Catholic archdioceses of Ontario, Canada have suspended public worship after Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced new lockdown measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The Diocese of London, Ontario announced this week it was closing all its churches.
“I realize these new restrictions will be a hardship for many, especially as access to the sacraments is once again curtailed,” Bishop Ronald Fabbro of London said in an April 17 letter.
“I want to express my gratitude to you for the sacrifices you are making during the pandemic, and also to emphasize that we need to be strong in our commitment to follow all health and safety measures to do our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”
The new restrictions limit general indoor gatherings to 10 people.
“In the past when we had such restrictions, it was decided that such a limit of ten people is impossible to be carried out in a fair manner,” Bishop Fabbro said. He said masses should be conducted in churches and livestreamed.
Bishop Ronald said baptisms and confessions should be discouraged until the lock-down ends, “but may be celebrated in danger of death.”
The Diocese of Hearst-Moosone said it has not suspended public worship but encouraged priests to livestream masses.
The Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, the Diocese of Pembroke and the Archdiocese of Kingston asked Catholics to contact their respective parishes.