Pretoria, 19 September, 2020 / 10:45 pm (ACI Africa).
After close to six months of closure due to COVID-19 restrictions, churches in South Africa’s Pretoria Archdiocese are set to reopen for public worship on October 1, the Local Ordinary announced in his Thursday, September 17 statement obtained by ACI Africa.
“I hereby formally announce and instruct that all churches in the Archdiocese of Pretoria should open for public services and the resumption of the sacramental life of the Church as from the 1st of October 2020,” Archbishop Dabula Mpako of Pretoria says.
He adds, “For many of our churches this will mean resuming public Masses from the weekend of the 3rd – 4th October. However, those parishes that have the tradition of weekday Masses are free to reopen on Thursday the 1st of October 2020.”
The Archdiocese of Pretoria is one of the ecclesiastical jurisdictions in South Africa whose leadership postponed the reopening of churches even after the country’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa allowed the resumption of public worship starting June 1.
Places of worship in the Southern African nation had been closed since March 26 following a nationwide lockdown to minimize the spread of COVID-19.