Liloan mayor appeals: Practice faith ‘responsibly’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco has called on the local Catholic Church to practice faith “responsibly” as the community continues to battle against the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Frasco uploaded a photo of a March 20, 2020 letter from the San Vicente Ferrer Parish announcing that the Church would proceed with their regular Sunday Mass. The parish covers six barangays in the town.
In the letter, the parish, however, said there would be “minor adjustments” in line with preventive measures against COVID-19.
The parish said there should only be up to 15 people attending the Masses and that they should be seated one meter apart in order to observe social distancing.
“Processions have also been held in violation of the Circular, and in defiance of the national, provincial, and municipal prohibition on Public Gatherings,” Frasco wrote.
The mayor cited a multi-sectoral meeting in the town last March 16, 2020, where the parish priest said they would continue the Masses as they were waiting for advice from the Archbishop.
On March 17, Archbishop Jose Palma announced the indefinite suspension of congregational eucharistic celebrations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Frasco said they had already reported the holding of the procession and regular Masses to the Archdiocese of Cebu and was told that the parish had promised to heed the suspension.
“To be clear, we are not preventing people from exercising their faith. We are simply asking the faithful to exercise their faith responsibly,” Frasco said.
Frasco also called on the public to consider the situation amid the threat of COVID-19
“We look to the leaders of our church to help government shepherd our people to safety — that we may not only transcend this great threat, but more importantly, survive it. We can pray, venerate, in the comfort of our homes, without prohibition. Online Masses are available,” she added.
Frasco said that the local government unit would even be willing to assist in providing internet access so parishes could hold Masses online.
In this way, the mayor said, the public would be able to help the LGU in preparing and countering COVID-19.
“Our health and emergency personnel, municipal and barangay health workers, barangay tanods and BINs and many other frontline health workers as well as we, your municipal and barangay officials have been working 24/7 on full alert, doing everything we can to prepare, prevent, and/or slow down the scourge of COVID-19,” Frasco said.
“I appeal to my fellow Cebuanos in these extraordinarily difficult times. Let us help each other. Let us protect each other by not attending public gatherings, and by practicing social distancing and good hygiene,” she added./dbs
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