A bishop has criticised Catholic churches that remain locked during the day and called on them to stay open like their Anglican counterparts.
Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth tweeted his exasperation at failing to find a single Catholic church open during a trip outside his diocese.
He wrote: “Why oh why?! Just spent a few days outside the diocese but every Catholic church I tried to visit was locked. One even had the utter hypocrisy to display a poster ‘From Maintenance to Mission’! Why is this, when every Anglican church is welcomely open?”
A spokesman for the bishops’ conference told the Telegraph that there was no policy on keeping churches open and that it was up to each bishop.
In reply to Bishop Egan’s tweet one Carmelite priest, Fr Nicholas Blackwell, wrote: “I’m a priest and I serve at a ‘poor’ parish. We regularly have things stolen and we don’t have the money to replace [them] or fix damage done.” He asked Bishop Egan not to “shame” parishes with “blanket statements”.
In November 2015, Pope Francis said the doors of Catholic churches around the world should remain open despite security fears following the Paris terror attacks.
“Please, no armoured doors in the church, everything open,” he said. “There are places in the world where doors should not be locked with a key. There are still some but there are also many where armoured doors have become the norm.
“We must not surrender to the idea that we must apply this way of thinking to every aspect of our lives,” he added. “To do so to the Church would be terrible.”
Church launches vocations app
The Church in England and Wales has launched an app to help users deepen their faith and discover their vocations.
The “God Calls” app, commissioned by the bishops’ National Office for Vocation, includes daily prayers and meditations on the Gospel and the lives of the saints. It also includes a journal for reflecting on one’s spiritual life.