The Church needs to form a ‘post-COVID-19’ generation

‘post-COVID-19’ generation

Romanian Catholic archbishop Aurel Percă believes, “there is a need to form a ‘post-COVID-19’ generation that will establish a different kind of relationship between people.”

Percă has never led his archdiocese in normal times. He was installed as Metropolitan Archbishop of Bucharest in January 2020, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic engulfed Romania.

In a Feb. 21 interview with CNA, Percă acknowledged his first 12 months as archbishop have been “pretty hard.”

Archbishop Percă has been unable to introduce a “concrete pastoral program” because of COVID-19 restrictions. He has also been unable to meet as many members of his flock as he would have liked.

Like many Church leaders in Europe, Percă worries that the pandemic will have a long-term impact on Mass attendance.

“At the moment, it is difficult to make a prediction about what the local Church in Bucharest will look like after the coronavirus crisis. The perspective points to a decrease in the presence of believers in churches for liturgical celebrations,” he commented.

“I am afraid that the fear caused by the pandemic in different categories of believers will extend over time. They will find it easier to watch the celebrations in their homes, sitting comfortably in their armchairs, than to travel the distance to their churches.”

The archbishop is already looking ahead to the post-coronavirus era. He will govern an archdiocese much changed from when he inherited it from Archbishop Ioan Robu, who served from 1983-2019.

“It has often been heard, even since reaching the height of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, that after this crisis, that the world will no longer be as it was, that we have to be more responsible to those around us and to the environment, that we have to consider solidarity between people as a priority,” Percă said.

“I believe that it will be difficult to achieve these ideals in the short term. I think there is the need to form a ‘post-COVID-19’ generation that will establish a different kind of relationship between people.”

The archbishop added that the Church must work for fundamental cultural change.

“So, I wonder how we can prepare the young generation for the ‘post-COVID-19’ period. We need to change the underlying cultural orientation; first of all, we Christians need to do it, by cultivating a very strong sense of responsibility,” he reflected.


Catholic News Agency


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