Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has insisted cuts to public spending in the United Kingdom after the Covid-19 pandemic “would be catastrophic“.
The Office for Budget Responsibility, which monitors government spending, has estimated the coronavirus crisis could cost almost £300 billion this financial year – April 2020 to April 2021.
“Borrowing costs are the lowest they’ve ever been in our entire history. Spending money on mental health will have a positive rate of return,” Welby told the BBC.
“We can do it now in a way we’ve never been able to before. We must be brave and courageous in setting our vision for what society will be.”
“Just because we’re in the middle of a crisis, it doesn’t mean that we can’t have a vision for a future where justice and righteousness are the key stones of our common life.
“So we fund mental health; we have a commission of inquiry into what we learn from this – not to blame, but to learn; we have a royal commission on how we look after social care.”
Over in the US
Meanwhile, Milwaukee archbishop Jerome Listecki addressed parishes and schools after the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order. The decision has effectively reopened the state – and Listecki announced Sunday mass will resume on the last day of this month.
“There’s a hunger for people to return, and I think that hunger goes into people being a part of the congregation and assembly, to be with other people,” he was quoted as saying by Fox News.
“We wanted to make sure what we were doing was trying to be safe for our neighbors. The burden shifts to all of us to look out for our neighbours.
“The pandemic kind of brought to mind there may not be tomorrow. Understand that my neighbour’s hurts are my hurts. I know people are anxious to return to normal.
“However, we must also acknowledge that people are anxious about returning to public activities and crowded spaces. Following the matrix is a prudent approach and a reasonable and responsible way to resume Catholic life in our archdiocese, without taking unnecessary risks.
“The safety and well-being of our people is a top priority. Please continue to communicate to your people about your plans for returning to Mass and other activities.”