The Philippines, a country of 108 million people, has recorded 1,605,762 coronavirus cases and 28,093 deaths as of August 3, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
MANILA, Philippines – Catholic dioceses in Metro Manila in the Philippines have suspended public masses for three weeks amid rising COVID-19 infections.
The information service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines reported July 31st that masses would be online only until August 20th.
The Archdiocese of Manila, as well as its suffragan dioceses of Cubao, Novaliches, Pasig, Parañaque and Kalookan, have exempted Catholics from their obligation to attend Sunday mass.
The Philippines, a country of 108 million people, recorded 1,605,762 coronavirus cases and 28,093 deaths as of Aug. 3, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Authorities fear an increase in the Delta variant of the coronavirus first identified in India. Reuters reported on August 2 that there were more than 8,000 infections recorded per day from Friday to Monday.
The capital region, which has a population of nearly 13 million, is currently under general community quarantine with additional restrictions. It will move to the more stringent enhanced community quarantine from August 6 to 20.
Bishop Honest Ongtioco of Cubao noted: “Let us continue to support the preventive measures put in place by the government to slow the rise of the virus. “
“We encourage the faithful to stay at home and stay safe. We will reopen our churches for public worship on August 21, if conditions improve.
In the Diocese of Parañaque, which covers the towns of Parañaque, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa, funeral and vigil Masses will be authorized while public Masses are suspended.
Bishop Jesse Mercado de Parañaque noted that the churches would remain open for personal prayer while respecting the rules of health.
“We continue to storm the skies with our prayers, especially in this uncertain situation of our time,” he said. “May our careful and steadfast adherence to our protocols ensure the safety of our family and our country. “
On July 30, the Archdiocese of Manila published a prayer for protection against the Delta variant composed by Cardinal José Advíncula, who was installed last month as Archbishop of Manila, to succeed Cardinal Antonio Tagle.
Beloved God, our loving Father,
we ask you to extend your hand over us
to protect us above all from evil,
of the threat that is
caused by COVID-19
especially by this new Delta variant.
We also ask You to continually guide
and enlighten those who care
of our health, the government,
our doctors, our nurses, those who are
mostly working in hospitals
and all the frontliners so that
they can continue their work so
to preserve the health of the community.
This is what we ask of You through
Christ our Lord. Amen.