MANILA – The cancelation of Masses amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) threat is up to the decision of the bishops, a Catholic prelate said Monday.
“About cancellation of Masses, it is always the decision of the respective bishops. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) can only recommend but the final decision is up to the bishops,” Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos said in an interview.
As for his diocese, Santos said Masses and traditional activities for the Lenten Season will push through as scheduled.
“In our case, we will not cancel masses, will continue with the tradition of procession, kumpisalang bayan (mass confession), and parochial stations of cross every Friday with street masses,” he said
Santos said the faithful should just instead follow precautionary measures against the disease.
“But we have provided necessary precautions: giving and providing alcohol, extra coveting cloth at the confession boxes, using face masks during confessions, spoken words of blessing instead of pagmamano (blessing) and communion by hands,” he said.
He also urged the faithful to pray that the country will be able to overcome such a health emergency.
“Simple yet practical, easy yet effective way to prevent Coronavirus is our hand. Always fold your hands in prayer. Turn to God, and trust Him. God is always in control of everything. Pray always our Diocesan prayer against coronavirus,” he added.
Santos also urged the faithful to always wash their hands and observe proper hygiene. They also asked them to use handkerchiefs when sneezing, or coughing.
As of Monday night, there are 24 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country. Ferdinand Patinio /PNA – northboundasia.com