Quiapo vicar tells gov't: Churches safer than malls

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2021 08:11 AM | Updated as of Mar 24 2021 08:19 AM

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MANILA - It is safer for the public to visit churches than malls, the parochial vicar of Quiapo Church said Wednesday as government opposed its operation during the Holy Week.

The Quiapo Church will be open to the public at 10 percent capacity or 100 visitors, said Fr. Douglas Badong.

"Mas ligtas sa simbahan kaysa pumunta at payagan natin sa mall. Napatunayan naman po natin 'yan nung Simbang Gabi, Pista ng Nazareno," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(It's safer for them to go to church than be allowed in malls. We've proven this during dawn masses and the Feast of the Nazarene.)

"Napatunayan naman nating kayang sumunod ng mga tao kasi ibang aspeto 'yung ispiritwal na ginagawa natin at tinitiyak din ng pamunuan ng bawat simbahan 'yung kaligtasan ng lahat. Hindi lang kaluluwa kundi pisikal na hindi sila magkasakit."

(We've proven that people can observe minimum health standards and churches ensure everyone's safety--not just spiritual, but physical to avoid infection.

Badong appealed to government to review the situation prior to implementing policies.

"Sana po mas makita nila ang kahalagahan din po nito. Ang nais namin makatulong, mauplift po ang morale ng mga tao," he said. "'Yun ang nais namin ipabatid, gusto naming makipagtulungan."

(We hope they can see the importance of this. We want to help, to uplift people's morale. We want to cooperate.)

In the Archdiocese of Manila, Apostolic Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo insisted that churches in the city will open at 10% capacity for some liturgies.

The inter-agency task force has banned gatherings of more than 10 people in Metro Manila and 4 surrounding provinces until April 4 to curb an uptick of COVID-19 cases. 

For his part, Fr. Jerome Secillano, CBCP public affairs committee executive secretary, said some churches plan to put up loudspeakers outside their sanctuaries during Holy Week. 

"We are going to celebrate our liturgies because it's Holy Week. Hindi naman namin ini-encourage na pumasok ang mga tao. However, kung mayroong tao na kumatok, halimbawa, isa, dalawa, tatlo, hindi namin pwedeng sabihin hindi kayo pwedeng pumasok...Maybe people can stay outside," he told ANC.