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Joy Mogensen

The Government Is Working To Open Churches At Easter: It Concerns The Priests

Joy Mogensen

The parsonage does not understand the government’s announcement to open churches at Easter.

Churches around the country have been empty since March 11, when the corona crisis seriously hit Denmark.

If it is up to the government and church minister Joy Mogensen (S), then the Danes should be able to mark the church’s most important feast, Easter, in the church.

It would be painful if all the churches had to keep closed at Easter without any ecclesiastical marking. Not least in a serious time when the Danes are particularly looking for communities and meaning. Therefore, the government is now working on a solution so that we can also celebrate Easter within the church within a responsible framework, the church minister writes in a press release.

According to the church minister, they are in dialogue with both the national church and the health authorities on how to safely re-open the churches.

While some pastors like to welcome churchgoers at Easter, there have been several pastors who have expressed concern since the announcement, and they are now receiving backing from the Priesthood Association.

Opposite to easing restrictions

According to the Priestly Association President, Per Bucholdt Andreasen, the concern is largely about how it is at all health-wise to conduct religious services at Easter, where many older people, in particular, usually tend to attend.

I see it as an outstretched hand from the government, but the problem is that it is unclear what to do. So it is difficult to get in from the church outside locally, he tells DR News.

According to him, it may seem unsolidaristic that the national church does not relinquish the celebration of Easter, when now the rest of society gives up so much.

Therefore, according to the Priesthood Association, it is crucial that the health authorities set the framework for how the churches can be opened.

Our concern is that it can be very difficult to deal with the health challenge in many churches, and the church’s staff will have a very big responsibility for it being possible, Per Bucholdt Andreasen said in a press release.

The concerns of the priests make an impression on the minister, and on Facebook she promises that health and safety will come first.

There is no doubt about that. No one is considering reopening the church for regular services, she writes in a post.

Krarup: Open the churches

One of the first to criticize the decision to close the churches was the Danish People’s Party Marie Krarup. She thought it was strange to go to Bilka, but not to church.

Now that it is possible to buy in, then it is strange that you can not do some kind of worship on Easter Sunday at least. It is the church’s biggest celebration, and it gives us faith and hope that we can get through this, she tells DR News.

That is why Marie Krarup also welcomes the church minister’s announcement. According to her, it must be voluntary for the priests, and one must look at the church buildings and how many there may be in them at a time.

Of course, you can’t do a normal service where people sit close together for an hour. It is completely excluded. You have to find another model that is responsible, she says.

Marie Krarup recommends, among other things, that you can set the church attendant to keep track of how many people come to the church, and that old and frail stay at home. It could also easily be the Home Guard, which keeps track of the number and keeps people away.

The government is also looking at how other religious communities can conduct their religious festivities during this time in a “health-reassuring way.”

Source: www.dr.dk

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