^
Church seeks expanded capacity for activities
Bishop Broderick Pabillo said yesterday that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases should consider expanding the allowed capacity for religious gatherings.
Philstar.com/Irish Lising, file

Church seeks expanded capacity for activities

Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - February 5, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Catholic Church officials are asking the government to expand the allowed capacity for religious events after last month’s Feast of the Black Nazarene apparently disproved fears that large gatherings of the faithful would cause a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo said yesterday that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) should consider expanding the allowed capacity for religious gatherings.

Citing the findings of the OCTA research team, the Manila apostolic administrator said religious events such as the feasts of the Black Nazarene and the Sto. Niño were managed well despite drawing throngs of devotees and did not cause a spike in coronavirus infections.

“God’s grace moves. That could be a basis (to allow bigger gatherings). The church is not a spreader because its services are managed well,” Pabillo said in Filipino.

Asked if OCTA group’s findings could be a basis for expanding capacity in religious events, he said the IATF should, “if they claim that they are science-based” in making its decisions.

Quiapo Church parochial vicar Fr. Douglas Badong echoed Pabillo’s sentiments, adding that churches are not part of the problem, but part of the solution to the pandemic.

“I hope they realize that going to church should not be perceived as a problem, but helps people of faith in fighting and preventing the spread of the virus,” Badong said in Filipino.

Earlier, OCTA research team reported no spike in new COVID-19 infections in Metro Manila even after the celebration of the holiday season and the feast of the Black Nazarene, which drew thousands of devotees to Quiapo.

The research group said the R-naught, which describes the reproduction of COVID-19 cases, has remained steady at 1 over the past week in Metro Manila.

In a related development, the Diocese of Caloocan has been distributing ashes packed in sachets that would be daubed on the forehead of the elderly on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17), signaling the start of the Lenten season.

Fr. Alain Magnait, parish priest of the St. Gabriel the Archangel in Caloocan City, had sought permission from the diocese to distribute sachets of ash starting Feb. 1 for the benefit of senior citizens restricted to their homes.

Earlier, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) vice president and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said the faithful would be allowed to do the daubing of ash themselves to avoid the spread COVID-19.

David said that the faithful who cannot physically attend the daubing of ashes will just have to “follow the mass through live-streaming and impose the ashes on themselves while it is being done in the parish Church.”

CHURCH
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with