De Oro archdiocese shuts 6 churches after their priests get COVID-19
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro has shut down six churches after their parish priests were infected with SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Archbishop Jose Cabantan, in a letter addressed to priests, the religious and Catholic faithful, said the churches would be off limits to religious and related activities from April 28 to May 7 to pave the way for disinfection.
“It was unexpected, never thought-of, never wished-for and in fact prayed against. Unfortunately, a number of our priests have fallen victim,” Cabantan said.
Fr. Der John Faborada, head of the archdiocese’s Social Action Center, said six priests were infected, including Msgr. Perseus Cabunoc, parish priest of the Jesus Nazareno parish church at Barangay Lapasan, where the icon of the “Calleron,” or Black Nazarene, is enshrined.
Aside from the Jesus Nazareno parish church, ordered closed were these parish churches:
• San Isidro Labrador at the village of Gusa in Cagayan de Oro City
• Our Lady of Candelaria in Tagoloan town
• Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Jasaan town
• Immaculada Concepcion also in Jasaan town
• Church of Santa Cruz in Laguindingan town
Cabantan said he reached this decision after consulting with the archdiocese’s health crisis committee.
According to a source, nine priests who run the parishes have tested positive for SARS Cov2.
“I humbly ask for understanding from our faithful, especially those directly affected and for prayers for our priests who have fallen victim,” Cabantan said.
Faborada said priests and church members who were in close contact with the infected priests, including Archbishop Cabantan, went on self-quarantine.
He said Archbishop Cabantan has already completed the 14-day quarantine and tested negative for the virus.
Faborada said church officials are still waiting for the results of tests on three priests who have had close contact with the infected priests.
“This is also our way of showing that we are one with the people, the government and every other person or entity concerned with the overcoming of the spread of the virus of Covid-19,” Cabantan said.
The church official said: “I humbly ask for understanding from our faithful, especially those directly affected, and for prayers for our priests who have fallen victims, and that no other priest may suffer the same fate so that our priests may continue in serving you in your respective assignments.”
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