The Archdiocese of Manila will not hold large gatherings of people as part of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to Apostolic Administrator of Manila archdiocese Bishop Broderick Pabillo.
PASTORAL LETTER: A CALL OF CHARITY FOR THE COMMON GOOD— Manila Cathedral (@CathedralManila) March 13, 2020
Manila Administrator Bishop Broderick Pabillo releases an instruction temporarily cancelling public celebration of the Holy Mass and public activities in churches in the Archdiocese of Manila pic.twitter.com/qBb1M63yNs
"The alert level for the COVID-19 has now been raised to Code Red sub-level two. We are enjoined to avoid large gatherings of people to avert the further spread of the virus. We heed this call not with panic but with care for charity to others and the common good," said Pabillio in a pastoral letter, "A Call of Charity for the Common Good."
"Hence in the Archdiocese of Manila I dispense all the faithful from the obligation of going to Mass this Sunday. There will be no public celebration of the Holy Mass and no public activities in all churches in the Archdiocese for seven days, starting Saturday, from March 14, till Friday, March 20," he added.
Pabillo said within the week church officials will continue to monitor the situation in coordination with health and government offices.
The prelate also directed churches for bells to be rung every 12 noon and 8 p.m. and call the people to recite the Oratio Imperata against COVID-19.
"Let families gather together at 8 pm. to pray as a family for divine protection." he added.
He also directed that churches and places of prayer be open all day so the people would have a place to pray.
Sanitizers, he added, should be made available at entrances as churches should be regularly cleaned.
The priests are also discouraged to organize Kumpisalang Bayan and instead hear individual confessions.
Pabillo encouraged the people to tune in to official radio stations and programs, Radio Veritas 846 and TV Maria and to livestreaming of masses by Quiapo church.
Malolos Bishop Dennis Villarojo is also granting a dispensation for people from their Sunday obligation for two Sundays and encouraged the public to hear mass on TV or through Facebook Live.
Villarojo added that the people can also pray the "Act of Spiritual Communion," a copy of which can be retrieved from the Facebook Page: Sandigan - Diocese of Malolos.
The people can also encode "Act of Spiritual Communion Catholic Prayer," in any search engine.
On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the implementation of tougher measures as part of effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 including community quarantine.
In part, the President said mass gatherings, planned or spontaneous, will be prohibited. — BAP, GMA News