MANILA – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Friday welcomed the government’s decision allowing religious gatherings at 10 percent capacity from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday on April 1-4.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP – Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA), said this would allow the faithful to observe Holy Week activities inside churches at a limited capacity.
“It’s a welcome development for the faithful. At least, they’ll be given a chance to celebrate and commemorate the Easter Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday) (and) Easter Sunday being the highest point of our faith,” Secillano said in an interview. “The IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) must have realized that faith is also vital to surviving this crisis.”
He assured that churches would strictly implement health protocols for the safety of the public.
“Having been allowed now, the church is expected to implement strict health protocols to ensure the safety of our people,” Secillano said.
On Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the IATF has allowed once-a-day religious gatherings from April 1 to 4, at 10 percent capacity.
Under the measure, churches are encouraged to adopt a reservation scheme to ensure that the allowed seating capacity is observed while gatherings and the conduct of religious activities outside the church or venue are prohibited.
The Catholic faithful will observe Holy Week starting March 28 (Palm Sunday) until April 4 (Easter Sunday). (PNA)