Church eyes increasing number of Holy Mass services during COVID-19 crisis


Posted at May 11 2020 09:30 AM | Updated as of May 11 2020 09:32 AM

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MANILA - Catholic churches in the Philippines will increase the number of Holy Mass services to avoid the gathering of crowds if it is allowed to reopen, a leader of the Catholic Church in the capital said Monday.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, the apostolic administrator of Manila, urged government to allow religious services to resume in areas under general community quarantine as these were "essential" to strengthen the Filipino's resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Kailangan ito para mapatatag ang ating mental, psychological, spiritual resilience ngayon panahon na ito," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

"Ang nakakalungkot ayon sa kanilang guidelines, mabubuksan na ang restaurants, salon pero ang simbahan di pa binubuksan. Tinuturing ang simbahan na kasama sa sinehan o mga concerts. Hindi ganyan ang serbisiyo ng simbahan."

Pabillo said the Catholic Church has submitted guidelines to government's inter-agency task force handling the pandemic and recommended the following:

  •  for churches to reopen at half-capacity
  •  implementation of physical distancing during religious services
  •  more Mass services to avoid gathering of crowds
  •  for priests to wear face masks

Pabillo said individual confirmations would be allowed, while christenings may also be held during weekdays instead of only Sundays.

The elderly, meanwhile, are advised to attend Holy Mass online.

Malacañang had announced that religious gatherings would be allowed in areas under relaxed lockdowns but later reversed its policy.