No public Masses until January for Belgian Catholics

Belgium’s Catholic bishops called Tuesday for dialogue with the government after it decreed that public Masses would remain suspended until Jan. 15, 2021.

Following a ministerial decree Nov. 29, the country’s approximately 6.5 million Catholics will be obliged to celebrate Christmas at home.

In a Dec. 1 press statement, the bishops acknowledged the need for measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives and relieving pressure on the nation’s healthcare system.

“However, the bishops, like many believers, feel this lockdown of public religious celebrations in churches as a limitation to the experience of their faith,” they said.

The bishops want to resume dialogue with the competent governmental services to consult on the resumption of public religious celebrations, a resumption framed by protocols that guarantee maximum security.”

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