In a personal statement shared with journalists at a press conference Friday, the cardinal said that the report had “brought together a picture of abuse inflicted in the Catholic Church over a period of 50 years.”
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In a Nov. 11 statement, Cardinal Nichols said that the findings marked “an important moment in our safeguarding journey in the Catholic Church.”
Throughout the coronavirus crisis, the government has permitted churches to host funerals, under strict conditions, and to livestream liturgies, but not to perform baptisms or weddings.
Cardinal Nichols, who is president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, continued: “Not every Catholic church will be open on June 15. Local decisions and provision have to lead this process. But it is a great blessing, for individuals and for the benefit of all in society, that church doors will again be open.
Bishops in the country have faced mounting calls from Catholics to reopen churches and allow congregations at Masses while respecting social distancing rules.
The official account of the Catholic National Shrine and Basilica of Our Lady at Walsingham echoed Cardinal Nichols’ call for prayer, tweeting Monday: “We need to pray for our Prime Minister.”
In a message before the ceremony, Pope Francis said he prayed that the rededication would “inspire all to persevere in the urgent task of sharing the joy of the Gospel with the men and women of our times".
Going beyond the government guidance, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) made the decision to close all churches to the public until further notice.
With the Vatican’s apparent support, Cardinal Vincent Nichols discourages the liturgical practice promoted by Cardinal Robert Sarah.