Basilica Minore del Santo Nino de Cebu cancels public Masses
CEBU CITY, Philippines —Bad news to devotees of the Sto. Niño who are eager to attend Masses at the city’s most famous church.
The Basilica Minore del Santo Nino de Cebu in downtown Cebu City has decided to cancel its plan to hold public Masses, which were supposed to start on Sunday.
The decision was reached after Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella issued an executive order, stating among others, that “religious gatherings shall be limited to not more than 10 persons.”
Quarantine passes could also be used only from Mondays to Saturdays as residents are enjoined to stay home on Sundays as part of the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The basilica earlier planned to accommodate at most 300 parishioners during Masses, or 10 percent of the capacity of the pilgrim’s center, after Cebu City shifted to the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) and after five of its employees recovered from COVID-19.
After the mayor released the new executive order laying down new rules under GCQ, the basilica then issued a new advisory on the afternoon of Saturday (Aug. 1) canceling the public Masses.
Instead, online Masses every 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. will continue.
“In compliance to the Executive Order No. 086 Series of 2020 issued by the Cebu City Government where a maximum of 10 persons can attend masses with the public, the Basilica will NO longer hold masses with the public instead masses will be ONLINE,” read the advisory of Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino de Cebu posted on its social media page.
But the basilica would be opened from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. as well as its candle area to allow pilgrims to pray and light candles.
The church will be closed on Sundays because no one was allowed to go out on Sundays based on the executive order that quarantine passes could only be used from Mondays to Saturdays.
Fr. Aladdin P. Luzon, OSA, said in an interview over dyLA that they were disheartened that they could not hold public Masses but he said it was for the good of everyone.
Luzon asked the devotees and the public for understanding since they had to recall their earlier advisory on the holding of public Masses.
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