No mass confessions in Antipolo this Lent
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - February 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Diocese of Antipolo will not hold mass confessions or Kumpisalang Bayan for parishioners this Lent to prevent the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease or COVID-19.

The cancellation of the activity was posted on the website of the diocese on Feb. 19, according to Fr. Alejandro Pestaño, chancellor of the Antipolo Diocese.

The decision to skip the mass confessions was agreed during a recent clergy meeting for the drafting of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The resumption of the Kumpisalang Bayan will depend on future assessments on the development of COVID-19 outbreak,” Pestaño said.

The Kumpisalang Bayan is held during the seasons of Lent and Advent. Priests go from one parish to another to conduct confessions among the people.

Depending on the number of confessants, the activity can last until midnight.

The Diocese of Antipolo said the regular schedule of confessions in chapels, parishes and churches would continue. 

It advised the faithful to check the schedule with their respective parishes or visit the diocese’s website. 

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) earlier issued guidelines on the prevention of COVID-19.

One of the recommendations was to install protective cloth on the grills of the confessionals. 

For Ash Wednesday, CBCP president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles recommended that ash be sprinkled on top of a penitent’s head instead of daubing it on the forehead, to avoid body contact.

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