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Catholics must fill out form when going to church

/ 04:50 AM June 10, 2020

UNHOLY VIRUS Catholics are going to Baguio Cathedral again after coronavirus restrictions in the summer capital of the Philippines have been eased, and find themselves being checked for temperature at the entrance and the fonts for holy water empty. In other churches, the faithful are required to register or fill out personal information forms to facilitate contact tracing for the suppression of the spread of the virus. —EV ESPIRITU

Catholics will have to bring pens when they go to church, as they will have personal information forms to fill out when the government allows religious gatherings to resume under a more relaxed coronavirus quarantine.In an administrative decree issued on Monday, the Diocese of Pasig said the requirement would be part of the rules for the reopening of churches for the celebration of Mass.

The personal information forms will be used for contact tracing to halt the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

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Name, address, etc.

The diocese instructed priests to tell the faithful to bring pens when they go to church to hear Mass.

“At the entrance doors of the church, they will be given a form, which they can bring [to the pews]. They will fill [out] the forms upon [sitting] in the pews, [giving their name, address, contact number, date and time of the Mass attended and seat number],” said Pasig Bishop Mylo Vergara.

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Churchgoers can hand in the accomplished forms at the doors as they exit after Mass, Vergara said, adding that priests can employ other methods of tracing feasible in their parishes.

People going to Mass at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan province will also be required to register before entering the church.

“We instituted more stringent measures … For instance, to aid potential contact tracing, we require Mass goers to write [down their] name and contact number before [we allow them to enter the church],” the Dominican Community of the Priory of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag said in a letter to devotees.

In the Diocese of Sorsogon, churchgoers will be asked to register at the doors and advised to refrain from changing seats for easy tracing.

Pews to be marked

In the Pasig diocese, Vergara said church pews would be marked with letters and numbers or just numbers to facilitate tracing.

Vergara said that until a vaccine for COVID-19 became available, the diocese would keep the dispensation from the Sunday obligation for the elderly and the sick, health-care workers, and people who out of caution would not go to church.

“They are encouraged to stay at home and watch Mass online,” he said.

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In church, the faithful would be required to wear protective masks, go through temperature check, observe spacing, and follow entrance and exit signs.

Fonts for holy water would be empty and use of air conditioning would be discouraged. —TINA G. SANTOS INQ

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Catholics, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, Mass Gatherings
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