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The Catholic Church and COVID-19: a critical appraisal of how Our Lady of Good Health Parish in the Archdiocese of Durban Operated during the lockdown restrictions.

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This study is a critical assessment of how the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Durban has navigated through COVID-19. The researcher selected Our Lady of Good Health Parish in the Archdiocese Durban to see how it responded to the pandemic from the time of its discovery in March 2020 to the time restrictions were lifted in April 2021. This study argues that Our Lady of Good Health Parish responded appropriately to the pandemic by implementing all the regulations that were promulgated by the government and the Catholic Church itself. The research followed a qualitative approach, and data was collected through interviews from 12 respondents from Our Lady of Good Health Parish. The primary data was analysed thematically. The study found that there were both positive and negative consequences that arose because of COVID-19, most of the congregants had been impacted and had to alter their church routine. There was a huge decrease in the attendance levels at the Catholic Church, the Parish had implemented social distancing measures, there was a loss of the essence of the church, there was an online church sermon trend adopted and sacraments could not be replaced with phones or online services. The study recommends that the Parish must identify workable and practical strategies to enhance the return of the faithful to the Church, involve its faithful and many other stakeholders of interest in the making of plans for how they can go forward as a church, must observe and learn from other congregations, and must ensure that they take the COVID-19 epidemic as a lesson that would inform other crises in the future. The research recommends that studies must be carried out to help the faithful on how to deal with the negative consequences of not physically attending church during pandemics such as Covid-19. Such studies would provide ways of promoting church attendance after the pandemic since several faithful still find it difficult to return to church.


Master’s Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.