Catholic bishop wants churches to keep doors open like the Church of England

The Catholic bishop of Portsmouth has suggested that churches should keep their doors open even after its services, just like what the Church of England does.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Lewis Hulbert)Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury (Portsmouth Cathedral). 12 August 2014.

On Jan. 14, Bishop Philip Egan posted a complaint on Twitter about being greeted with closed church doors during a recent trip outside his diocese. After being unable to visit any Catholic church, he suggested that they follow the example of the Church of England in keeping their doors open, The Telegraph relayed.

"Why oh why?! Just spent a few days outside the Diocese but every Catholic church I tried to visit was locked," said Bishop Egan on Twitter. "One even had the utter hypocrisy to display a poster 'From Maintenance to Mission'! Why is this, when every Anglican Church is welcomely open?"

The Church of England usually keeps its churches' doors open even beyond service schedules for security reasons. It said criminals feel more confident in attacking a closed church than an open one where people could come in any time.

A representative for Catholic bishops in England and Wales said there was no national rule on keeping church doors open. However, the bishop in charge is the one who decides when it comes to that matter.

For the Catholic Diocese of Westminster, locking up its doors is its way of keeping vandals away. A spokeswoman for the diocese added that they also want to protect the sacrament.

In November last year, Bishop Egan made headlines after he criticized what he said was a "draconian" crackdown on pro-life vigils outside an abortion facility in Portsmouth. He slammed the city council for its alleged part in restricting freedom of expression, the Catholic Herald reported.

After the council voted in favor of blocking pro-life vigils by the group 40 Days for Life outside the abortion clinic in question, Bishop Egan said their gatherings merely constituted prayers for the unborn, mothers, and the medical staff. He also said the organization would continue its advocacy in another forum.