The head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) told Catholics to maintain health protocols during the Holy Week services in churches.
Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, CBCP president, published a statement on April 8 after the health department appealed to churches to reconsider the practices of some Holy Week traditions such as “pahalik”.
[“Pahalik” is a custom of kissing, as a sign of devotion, a statue or the image of the infant Jesus, or the feet or body of the suffering or the dead body of Christ placed in front of the altar on Good Friday.]
The health department warned the public that such religious practices may transmit the Covid-19 virus and a subsequent surge in cases.
The CBCP head also confirmed the Church’s stand against self-flagellation.
“Until now, we discourage people from doing those practices as there are other ways to sacrifice or do penitence,” David said.
“The most important way of penitence is to do charity, especially for the poor,” he said.
The Kalookan Bishop said that Covid-19 remains a serious threat and called to maintain the health protocols to defeat the pandemic.
“Even though the pandemic has subsided, let us not let our guard down. Let us continue following the health protocols so that we can finally defeat this pandemic,” David told Radio Veritas on April 8.
The prelate encouraged the people to wear face masks and observe social distancing for caring for each other.
The Philippines hit the lowest record of active Covid-19 cases on April 8 with as many as 29,809 since January 4 of 30527 active cases, according to the data released by the Department of Health.
On April 8, a total of 290 new cases were reported, as the nationwide caseload to 3,680,802.
On April 7, the World Health Organization in the Philippines also signaled Covid-19 cases again at crowded gatherings such as those on the campaign trail ahead of the May 2022 election.
According to the OCTA Research group, there might be 4000 new COVID-19 cases a day in the country by Eleksyon 2022 on May 9 under a scenario of waning immunity and the entry of new variants.
It is said that the number of new COVID-19 cases might reach 1,000 in Metro Manila during the same period.
Based on the country’s experience, the OCTA said the COVID-19 surge occurred every three months due to the new variants in the country.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.