MANILA – The scheduled visits of the image of the Black Nazarene to the Manila Cathedral has been called off.
“The Dalaw Nazarene 2022 at Manila Cathedral scheduled for January 6-7 will not be held. Due to the increase in Covid-19 cases and reminders of IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and DOH (Department of Health), it’s better to postpone it first,” the cathedral said in an advisory on Wednesday night.
It also encouraged the faithful to only pray in their homes and follow Masses and prayer on the Quiapo Church Facebook page.
The image of Black Nazarene has been visiting different churches in the country as part of the upcoming celebration of the feast of the black Jesus Christ on January 9.
The localized traslacion was introduced to be able to commemorate the annual event in the midst of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the country has recorded over 10,775 new cases of Covid-19, based on the latest figure of the DOH.
Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula encouraged devotees to stay home and just participate in the online Masses of Quiapo Church as part of the celebration for the upcoming Feast of the Black Nazarene on Sunday.
“Although online, everyone is still encouraged to join in the celebrations of Holy Mass that will be held inside the church in Quiapo hourly,” he said in a statement issued Wednesday evening.
“It is hard for us not to be able to visit Quiapo on the day of the feast of the Dear Señor, let us, by innovative technology, Señor Nazareno visit our homes and family,” he added.
Advincula said they will heed the government’s directive as they do not want the holding of the annual event to aggravate the current surge in infections.
“As your shepherds, we are also deeply concerned about the rapid increase in cases of Covid-19 in our country, especially in NCR (National Capital Region). We also are concerned that the upcoming feast of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth of Quiapo will be way further aggravating the situation…the leadership of the Quiapo Church has already met with the NTF (National Task Force) and other agencies, including the government of Manila. In response to the extraordinary pandemic situation, from seventh to ninth of January, the Mass at Quiapo Church will be online only to avoid mass gathering,” he said. (PNA)