UK Bishops tell Catholics to end ‘worshipping from home’

Catholic bishops have told worshippers to return to church because “virtual viewing of Mass does not fulfil the Sunday obligation”.

The leaders of the English and Welsh Catholic church want worshippers to return to the pews in time for Pentecost on the first Sunday in June.

The obligation had been suspended for almost 26 months since March 2020 because of the pandemic. Those who are unable to attend in person due to ill health or because they are caring for the sick will continue to have bishops’ blessing to tune in remotely.

However, the lifting of Covid restrictions means that for other worshippers “the reasons which have prevented Catholics from attending Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation no longer apply”.

By contrast, the Church of England has encouraged its parishes to continue streaming services. While it is hoping to nudge worshippers to return to church for worship, no decree has been issued telling them that they are obliged to attend services in church rather than watch online.