My dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
The Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth (MCCY) has announced that religious organizations may open for private worship after the circuit breaker ends on 1 June. Because of the risks of infection, Phase 1 carries many restrictions and requirements to all religious organizations on how such private worship is to be conducted.
The Archdiocese has noted the Government’s cautious stance, studied the restrictions and requirements, and consulted with a number of parish priests. Because we are not allowed to engage the help of volunteers, it will be very difficult to fully comply with the strict conditions set by MCCY for Phase 1. Hence, our churches will reluctantly remain closed for private worship during this Phase.
We have to err on the side of caution out of pastoral responsibility. We seek your kind understanding that both our staff and worshippers are uppermost on our minds for the best outcome always.
Please continue to pray for our Catholic Church as we face many challenges during these trying times. In Phase 1, churches will be able to conduct wedding solemnizations and funeral services that comply with the restrictions and requirements set by MCCY. Please contact your parish to make the arrangements. In addition, parishes have also established online platforms for pastoral care, formation and fellowship. We will strive to improve on outreach to our flock. These would be publicized in the parish and archdiocesan websites.
In Phase 2, the Archdiocese looks forward to opening our churches for private prayer and adoration, especially when some of the requirements are relaxed (e.g., volunteer parishioners allowed to assist in implementing safety measures). In anticipation of fully reopening, we are also working hard to introduce a digital Mass attendance registration system and strong safeguards to public health.
Let us remain strong and united as one Body of Christ.
Most Rev. William Goh, DD
Archbishop of Singapore
27 May 2020