Catholic Church suspends in-person Mass for 2 weeks
MANILA, Philippines — Catholic churches turn to livestreaming after the national government on Sunday suspended religious gatherings due to increasing coronavirus infections.
In compliance with Resolution No. 104 issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases, Masses are suspended from March 22 to April 4. The churches will reopen for public worship on April 5.
“Voluntarily closing our places of worship at the highest point of our liturgical year is heartbreaking. But we also open our eyes to a situation that puts many of [the] faithful at risk. Numbers are surging and scientific data show that unless drastic interventions are done, these numbers will not decline anytime soon,” Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said.
“Together, we must embrace an act of self-denial for the sake of many of our brothers and sisters,” he added.
In an interview with the Inquirer, Quiapo Church priest Douglas Badong said Masses would be livestreamed, but people could not go inside the church during the Mass.
“We are worried about the people who cannot go to church. They are the ones who have big needs. They are looking for somewhere to go … They can only participate online,” he said.
Those who have needs may still see the priest and go to Quiapo Church if there are no Masses, he added.
The Manila Cathedral, Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church, Santo Niño de Tondo Parish, Santo Niño de Pandacan Parish, San Sebastian Church and San Agustin Church in Intramuros have already complied with the order.
There will also be no public Masses, novenas and other liturgical celebrations and gatherings at Baclaran Church or the National Shrine of Mother of Perpetual Help until April 4 under the same task force rules and the Diocese of Parañaque circular.
Charlie Duñgo, director of Manila’s Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts, thanked the Manila Archdiocese for immediately complying with the task force order.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.