New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Message
Reintroduction of Alert Level 3 in Auckland
Following the announcements that the Auckland Region has moved to Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country to Alert Level 2 from noon today, we write to you about the pastoral implications. The new Levels apply until at least midnight on Friday. The Government has promised to give updates before then whether these Levels will remain or change. This letter assumes they will continue at least until next week. We will provide additional updates as needed.
Under Alert Level 3, Churches must close, except for small, private weddings and funerals of up to 10 people. Physical distancing and public health measures must be maintained. The full message can be downloaded <here>
NZ Catholic bishops refute claims they have endorsed a political party
New Zealand’s Catholic bishops are seriously concerned by a false statement
circulating widely online that claims they are urging Catholics to vote for the
New Conservative political party. As Cardinal John Dew the vice-president of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference, said the Catholic Bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand have not endorsed and will not endorse any political party. The full statement can be read <here>.
Bishop Pat regular speaks to the Diocese via a Sunday video. The most recent one is always on the front page of the website. To access previous messages please visit our Diocesan YouTube channel.
Hygiene at Mass: Concern for All - Genuine Hospitality
Implementing good hygiene is an act of love and hospitality to our sisters and brothers. When a serious outbreak of illness occurs, the Bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand will introduce the necessary liturgical adaptations for such occasions.
Meanwhile we are reminded that there are guidelines that enable us to keep ourselves and others safe with respect to good hygiene. We are reminded: If you have any level of unwellness – it is advisable to stay home
- wash your hands prior to Mass
- avoid coughing or sneezing, otherwise cough or sneeze into your elbow. Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- to the extent possible, avoid touching your face with your hands
- to protect others, if you usually receive on the tongue please receive on the hand if you have any level of unwellness
- refrain from receiving from the chalice if you have any level of unwellness refrain from holding people’s hands
Further and specific guidance can be downloaded. It has been prepared by the Diocesan Liturgy Office and is regularly updated.Hygiene at Mass June 2020
Easter Pastoral Letter from the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference
12 April 2020
Easter Pastoral Letter
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Kia tau te rangimārie kia koutou – Peace be with you.
It was in the evening of the first Easter day, while the disciples were locked down in fear, that suddenly the risen Christ stood before them in the closed room and said, “Peace be with you” and showed them his hands and his side.
His greeting of peace is what we share with you on this Easter day knowing that Jesus has triumphed over the lockdown of the tomb and as the risen Christ stands among us,
in lockdown, offering us his peace.
Download the full letter here
Bishop Patrick Dunn's Message for All Catholic Parishioners - 24 March 2020
My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Our world community is facing an unparalleled time of stress with as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Zealand Government continues to announce a number of serious measures to promote the common good and mitigate the effect of this pandemic on human life. We have had to come to terms with the measure announced last week prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people. This saw the Bishops Conference agreeing to suspend all Masses, including Sunday Mass, until further notice. A reminder that I formally give you dispensation from the obligation to participate at Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation (cc 87 #1, 1247).
Buildings Closed but not the Living Church.
Moving to Alert 4 sees all of us self-isolating. Not just to keep ourselves safe but those about us. This requires our Church buildings to close. But not the Living Church.
Download the full message here.
Pastoral Letter to the Catholic People from the Bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand regarding Covid-19 - 28 March 2020
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As we begin these weeks of lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand, we are deeply aware of the shared sacrifice for the protection of our families, workplaces and the wider community both local and international. In these weeks the safety of all people is our primary concern. We are unable to leave our homes and must remain isolated from everyone other than those with whom we live.
The current restrictions prevent priests from leaving their homes, even to minister to the sick and dying, and therefore the sacraments of the church are unavailable to parishioners. This an especially great suffering for both priests and people, unprecedented in our lifetime.
But this lack of availability of the sacraments is not unknown in the history of the Church in our land.
Download the full letter here.
Summary Points on what to do:
"When you cannot receive the Sacraments
because of COVID-19 Quarantine"
Click on each card for enlarged prints.
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