Melbourne Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli says the Victorian Government’s plans to ease COVID-19 restrictions in the state offer little for places of worship and “ignore the mental and spiritual wellbeing of many”. Source: Melbourne Catholic.
Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday announced changes to some restrictions from today and further changes from November 1 in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. The easing in restrictions follows a steady improvement in the number of COVID cases across the state.
Under these eased restrictions, there will be increased numbers for outdoor gatherings and various recreational facilities will be able to reopen to the public. Retail and hospitality sectors will also be able to resume service, with increased numbers permitted to gather in regional Victoria.
However, there remains a noticeable disparity between those permitted to gather for retail purposes and that of religious activity.
From today restaurants and cafes in regional Victoria can have up to 70 people outdoors and up to 40 people indoors. Libraries can open for up to 20 people indoors. And yet, places of worship will remain closed and outdoor religious gatherings are capped at 20 people plus one faith leader.
Archbishop Comensoli expressed his disappointment following the Premier’s announcements.
“I am deeply shocked and disappointed at the disparity imposed on people of faith in Victoria today,” he said.
“The Premier's announcements on the further easing of restrictions completely ignores the mental and spiritual wellbeing of many, with public health officials stubbornly silent on the reason why.
“Where is the parity? The rest of Australia is doing it right. Why not us? Life, family and faith matter.”
Where is the parity? Life, family and faith matter (Melbourne Catholic)
No sense to rules under Andrews (The Catholic Weekly)