Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urges faithful to remain united amid pandemic
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma urged the Cebuano faithful to remain united amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
In his pastoral letter, the archbishop encouraged the faithful to remain steadfast in the faith and continue praying for Cebu as the town and cities in the province continue to fight the dreaded disease.
“It has been several months since our entire province has been battling an unseen force that brings traces of death and despair with all of us, but most especially among the poorest members of our community. We need to intensify our existing endeavors such as feeding programs and financial assistance for Covid-19 hit areas in coordination with Cebu Caritas, Council of the Laity, parishes, and other agencies involved in providing help to our affected brothers and sisters,” said the Archbishop.
The pastoral letter, which was released on June 30, 2020, hopes to encourage the faithful to avoid activities that may cause disunity among the community during the pandemic.
“I also humbly appeal that we maintain our sense of courtesy and respect to our local government officials—from the Barangay Captains to the Mayors, our Governor, the appointed bodies of the Office of the President including the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, the recently instituted COVID Task Force for Central Visayas, the Police and the Military personnel,” said the prelate.
He urged the public to be careful with the words used on social media platforms as well as the words they throw to frontliners who are serving the Cebuano populace to protect them from the virus.
He quoted Poper Francis in saying, “protect our unity with prayer. Let us pray for one another. Let us pray more and complain less.”
The Archbishop also emphasized that the Catholic Church in Cebu has been actively working to help the fight against the pandemic by offering the IEC Pavillion as a quarantine center. The IEC Pavillion sits on an archdiocesan lot.
He also thanked all religious groups that have been donating personal protective equipment (PPEs), disinfectants, food, relief goods, and services to the areas most hit by COVID-19.
“Finally, the worst of times is indeed the best of times to show to the rest of the country our sense of personal discipline and our willingness to show our deeply embedded Cebuano spirit of solidarity and tenacity—(I LOVE CEBU), unique in the entire country—a spirit that translates to active works of heroic charity for the helpless, continued cooperation with all mandated authorities, and a faith that unceasingly prays and absolutely trusts that, with the Sto. Niño in our midst and with our Blessed Mother, in Christ, we will overcome together as Cebuanos and move forward to a better life ahead of us all,” said the archbishop. /bmjo
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