With a view to the renewed possibility of public church services, Archbishop Hans-Josef Becker of Paderborn has called on the faithful to show special consideration. Nor is it just joy over the relaxation that resonates with him.
While he is grateful for the decision of the North Rhine-Westphalian state government to allow public worship services, Becker said Wednesday in Paderborn. At the same time, however, the conditions under which they are to be celebrated in an assembled local community are difficult.
The precautionary measures and hygiene regulations for the celebration of church services in the Corona crisis meant an enormous effort, especially for pastoral staff in pastoral associations and parishes, explained Becker. Likewise, a lot is also demanded of those celebrating in the church services. The implementation of the measures can only take place locally, because many things cannot be controlled and managed centrally.
In an absolutely exceptional situation
It is good "that we can live and experience real community again, at least step by step, in addition to media and digital community," Becker emphasized. This is what the church lives on. He said he was impressed by the media and digital engagement during this time, which for him continues to be part of it. Real-life experience, however, could not simply replace this.
"We are in an absolutely exceptional situation that we have to deal with together," said the Archbishop of Paderborn. There is still a long way to go before we can speak of normality. It is important to make the best out of the situation.
Protective measures for church services include spacing visitors, separate entrances and exits, and disinfectants. The government of North Rhine-Westphalia had declared that from 1. May an worship services and other "gatherings for the practice of religion" are possible again due to the protection concepts of the religious communities.