MANILA – A prelate on Thursday called on decision-makers on the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to also determine whether or not churches could reopen.
In a Facebook post, Manila Archdiocese apostolic administrator, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, said religious services are essential services.
“So when the decision-makers consider the essential services to be allowed, they should also consider the opening of the churches and its services as important. After five weeks of quarantine, decision-makers are now talking about the lifting of the lockdown, either completely, or in a mitigated way, or only in some areas. The signs of God in their lives are very important for the people,” Pabillo said in the post titled “Religious Services are Essential Services.”
He said people have turned to online Masses and church services during the ECQ for their spiritual nourishment.
“They find in them great comfort and strength to carry on,” Pabillo added.
He said that should churches be allowed to open, they are ready to implement precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the faithful.
“Of course, necessary precautions should be taken, like the proper social distancing and the sanitation practices to be done in the churches. We cannot also just go back to the old practices as before. Many things will also change in the way we do our services in the church. This is already taken as a given,” Pabillo said.
He, however, said that allowing the people to go back to church “to thank the Lord, to ask for his protection, and implore his help, are deemed very important by the people.”
“So if we want to reassure the people that we shall overcome, that we are on the way to victory in our fight against the virus, let us allow the people the opportunity to express their faith within our churches,” Pabillo said.
The ECQ was implemented in March to stop the further spread of Covid-19.
As of Thursday, the Philippines recorded 6,981 confirmed infections, with 722 recoveries and 462 deaths. (PNA)