Bishop to gov’t: Let kin of COVID dead visit tombs during ‘Undas’ | Inquirer News
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Bishop to gov’t: Let kin of COVID dead visit tombs during ‘Undas’

/ 04:58 AM October 26, 2021

Pablo Virgilio David

MANILA, Philippines — The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has asked local government officials to allow the families of those who passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic to visit their graves during “Undas.”

In a recent Facebook post, CBCP president and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David appealed for “sheer compassion” from city and town mayors, noting that those who lost a family member between 2020 and this year “have not even been given the chance to grieve yet as families.”

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He suggested that the surviving family members be asked to present their deceased loved one’s death certificate so they could be issued special COVID-19 passes that would allow them entry into cemeteries.

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Earlier, the government’s task force against COVID-19 ordered the nationwide closure of cemeteries, memorial parks and columbaria from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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According to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, the public would be allowed to visit their departed loved ones’ graves before or after the dates mentioned although they should be limited to 10 people per group.

All resting places for the dead should operate at only 30 percent capacity although this could be raised to 50 percent with the consent of the local government.

Last year, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases also ordered all cemeteries, memorial parks and columbaria closed between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4.

Millions of Filipinos traditionally visit their dead on Nov. 1 and 2, leading to overcrowding at these sites.

In the meantime, the CBCP announced the reopening of its “Undas Online” website to allow the bereaved to send requests for prayers for their departed loved ones.

Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, media office director of the CBCP, said the virtual Undas website would also host online Masses for the faithful.

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TAGS: COVID-19 death, Pablo Virgilio David, undas
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