Toronto’s archbishop says the past three months have been “spiritually painful” for Catholics because churches have been closed during the pandemic but they are reopening gradually “in a careful way” with safety measures in place.
Cardinal Thomas Collins, in a virtual news conference on Sunday, says the Archdiocese of Toronto has prepared a gradual reopening plan that balances the need for Catholics to come together to worship with the need for health and safety amid COVID-19. Medical experts have reviewed the phased reopening plan, which has been shared with the province, he said.
“First of all, I would like to thank the faithful of the archdiocese for their patience during these challenging days. I am grateful to Catholics throughout the archdiocese for their understanding as we have worked together to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 over the past several months,” Collins said.
“I also am keenly aware that closing our more than 200 Catholic churches in this Archdiocese of Toronto has been a very spiritually painful and difficult period for all of us.”
Collins said he is delighted that the 225 Catholic churches can reopen in Toronto. “I am just overjoyed that we will once more be able to open our churches. This is such an important reality. Understandably, this will be done in a very careful way,” he said.