Bishop Pabillo: Up to ‘local communities’ to hold religious services within Manila
MANILA, Philippines — Despite the pastoral instruction of the Archdiocese of Manila to hold religious services with only 10 percent of the capacity of churches, Bishop Broderick Pabillo clarified on Wednesday that “local communities” will decide if they still want to hold physical Masses.
Pabillo, the apostolic administrator of the Manila archdiocese, said in an interview over Teleradyo that the concept of “local communities” was based on the “principle of subsidiarity.”
“Ibig sabihin na ang makakapag-desisyon sa ground ay mga local communities,” Pabillo said.
(That means those who will make the decision are the local communities.)
“Kaya sinabi namin sa pastoral letter na maaring magkaroon ng [Misa] up to a maximum of 10 percent, pero ang mga local communities, ibig sabihin ang mga pari kasama ang kanyang mga pastoral leaders ay sila magde-desisyon kung magbubukas ba sila or hindi kasi iba-iba ang sitwasyon, di ba?” he added.
(That’s why we said in our pastoral letter that Mass may be held up to a maximum capacity of 10 percent, but the local communities—meaning the priests and his pastoral leaders—will decide if they will open or not because it depends on the situation.)
The pastoral letter the bishop was referring to was his instruction that churches within the Archdiocese of Manila may hold religious services within 10 percent of its churches’ capacity.
The Archdiocese of Manila covers the cities of Manila, Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, and San Juan.
However, Pabillo’s pastoral instruction was in defiance of the national government’s guidelines that no mass gatherings may be held within Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, and Rizal during the 2-week general community quarantine “bubble.”
Pabillo, meanwhile, defended the pastoral instruction, saying that the 10 percent capacity is not considered as a “mass gathering.”
“At tsaka sa aming pastoral statement, mga siyam na beses namin idiniin ang online participation,” the bishop said. “So ine-encourage namin ang tao mag-online pero at the same time, may pagkakataon yung mga tao na gustong lumapit at okay naman silang makalapit ng simbahan.”
(And in our pastoral statement, we reiterated around nine times that the people may join through online participation. So we are encouraging them to join online, but at the same time, people may still get close to the church.)
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