Church in Bohol stops Masses, tells people to pray at home to stop COVID-19
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol—The two Catholic dioceses in Bohol province have suspended Masses in churches and chapels starting on Wednesday (March 18).
In a pastoral letter, Tagbilaran Bishop Alberto Uy and Talibon Bishop Patrick Daniel Parcon said Eucharistic services are suspended indefinitely to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus 2019 disease or COVID-19.
The faithful, they said, can hear Mass on radio, TV, and Facebook.
“God has blessed us with intellect and foresight so that we can address our problems rationally,” said the pastoral letter.
“We cannot simply close our eyes as we confront our difficulties, and entrust everything to the kind of faith that is blind,” it said.
“Even St. Anselm would say, ‘Faith finds a way to understand’,” the letter added.
Last Sunday (March 15) Bohol churches shortened Masses from an hour to 30 minutes. The bishops, however, later decided to stop Masses altogether in the province.
“As it is often said: ‘prevention is better than cure,’” the letter said.
The bishops encouraged people to pray at home instead.
Church bells will also be rang at noon and 8 p.m. daily to signal the recitation of Oratio Imperata, or mandatory prayer, to stop COVID-19.
“Like any storm, all trials shall come to pass with God’s assistance, and through the intercession of Mary and our patron saints,” the pastoral letter said.
“We will not lose hope. We move forward because those who persevere to the end will be blessed,” it added.
Edited by TSB
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