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Catholic churches in the UAE to remain closed until Covid situation improves

‘It is not safe to keep the church open during this time; the church should not be the cause of the spread of any disease’

St Mary’s Catholic Church in Dubai will remain closed for the time being and will reopen at a later date when the situation will improve, according to an announcement made on Sunday.

This is being done bearing in mind the current Covid-19 situation and to mitigate the risks of the virus. The announcement was made on Sunday on the church website.

The church announced, “The Parish Council of our church had its monthly meeting on Friday (July 10), presided over by our parish priest Fr Lennie Connully and discussed the various conditions laid down by the Community Development Authority (CDA) regarding the re-opening of our church for worship.

“Considering all these facts and especially to have a short mass without Holy Communion, the re-opening of the church will have to be delayed until we get a more feasible situation.”

When Khaleej Times reached out to parish priest Fr Lennie Connully, he said, “Safety first is the rule of the government. It is not safe to keep the church open during this time as St Mary’s Church is one of the most crowded churches in Dubai. With over 100,000 worshippers coming in, opening it leads to greater risks under these circumstances. The Church should not be the cause of the spread of any disease.”
Fr Connully instead urged worshippers to continue attending the live-streaming of the Mass. 

Fr Reinhold Sahner, parish priest of St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church also told Khaleej Times that the church in Jebel Ali will remain closed.

He said, “There are several challenges that come with the opening of churches. For example issues pertaining to the Holy Mass. Therefore, controlling the crowd will be difficult. Then the Holy Communion cannot be distributed. Let’s hope that after the summer break we can reopen again.”