From empty churches, Negros bishops call for more prayers vs COVID-19
BACOLOD CITY – Church leaders in the province of Negros Occidental called for more prayers to commemorate a Holy Week that has been so drastically changed by COVID-19.
Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon said more prayers were the answer to the disaster that COVID-19 brings not only to people’s lives but also their religious traditions.
Buzon celebrated Mass at an empty San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City on Palm Sunday because of quarantine rules that prevent the faithful from congregating in church.
Buzon reminded the faithful they should not let their guard down against the virus that causes COVID-19, but continue praying harder.
“We are to continue with our heightened awareness that we be always on guard as a community because the enemy is like a prowling lion just waiting for someone to devour,” Buzon said.
“We are called to be responsible as a Church by observing strictly the stay home policy, the curfews, and by following diligently the precautionary measures by the government and the CBCP,” he added, referring to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Buzon also expressed joy that many people responded to the Church’s call for generosity and concern for the poor.
“Though the end of the battle from hunger is far from over, yet with our concerted efforts as one diocese, we can console ourselves that we win the battle in the name of the needy among us,” he said.
“Let us put all our trust in God who is infinitely more powerful than the COVID-19 virus and who infinitely loves us. Let us put ourselves and our loved ones in his hands, and all shall be well,” he said.
San Carlos City Bishop Gerardo Alminaza quoted Viktor Frankl, an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist as well as a Holocaust survivor, who said “we don’t get to choose our difficulties, but we do have the freedom to select our responses.”
“We might be going through passion and death but the whole story is not yet complete: there’s still Easter. The resurrection. There’s hope,” Alminaza said.
Edited by TSB
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