16 June 2020, The Tablet

Racial equality is 'crucial' says cardinal

Racial equality is 'crucial' says cardinal

A Catholic religious outside Southwark Cathedral on the Feast of Corpus Christi

Cardinal Vincent Nichols termed the struggle for racial equality “crucial” in his homily for Corpus Christi on Sunday

The Archbishop of Westminster referred to the reopening of churches in England and Wales as a “moment of grace” in his homily for Corpus Christi last Sunday.

Given in Westminister Cathedral and broadcast on BBC Radio 4, the homily touched on the nature of the Eucharist, the “most wonderful of all sacraments”, and on Nichols' hope that the Church would be reunited in celebration of Mass when Lockdown measures ease. “We long for the day” Nichols said, “on which we can gather together again around the altar and take part, directly and physically, in that celebration.”

Cardinal Nichols also made reference to recent protests in the UK that have called for “an end to an ingrained prejudice against Black members of our society”. This is, Nichols added, a “crucial challenge” for the whole of society exiting lockdown. But “new growth needs good soil and good roots”, and the “deepest source of renewal” lies in the person of Jesus. In addressing social issues in his Corpus Christi homily, the Cardinal echoed the Pope’s earlier words on the same feastday.

Pope Francis, speaking in Rome, emphasised the link between the Eucharist and social justice, stating that the sacrament “raises us from our comfortable and lazy lifestyle and reminds us that we are not only mouths to be fed, but also his hands to be used to help feed others.”

Cardinal Nichols, who has been the Archbishop of Westminster since 2009, released a video of himself preaching on Corpus Christi prior to the feast - along with a British Sign Language interpretation. In this, Nichols has been continuing the shift to remote and digital services that has characterised the Church’s response to lockdown restrictions. A recent survey indicated that almost all UK Catholics have watched at least one Mass online over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, although the majority will not continue to do so once lockdown measures are lifted. Although private prayer in Churches has been allowed since the beginning of this week, 15 June 2020, Masses with a congregation will be held at the earliest from 4 July.


  Loading ...
Get Instant Access
Subscribe to The Tablet for just £7.99

Subscribe today to take advantage of our introductory offers and enjoy 30 days' access for just £7.99