Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo on Wednesday urged the government to focus on addressing the problem of poverty especially in feeding the hungry people in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic aside from the issue of mass gathering.
“The conversation should not just be on the “10%” but on addressing the problem of growing hunger among the people. This should be addressed also by the government and not just limit their responsibility to the exercise control over the people’s activities. Hopefully both the local and national governments should make provisions to give subsidies the people in this time of need,” Bishop Pabillo said in his follow up guidelines issued today, March 24, 2021, after the release of the Pastoral Instructions We Worship The Lord.
In the released guidelines, the Bishop said that the pastoral instruction is “meant to help the pastors and their flocks how to worship the Lord in this important season of the year in the face of the pandemic”. He added that the pastoral instruction “also asserts our right to worship but setting a limit to the physical attendance of those who feel the need to do”.
The Bishop also stressed in the guidelines that the ten percent capacity inside the church is not considered a “mass gathering”.
“We come to this limit of 10% of our church physical capacity because we feel that this number does not constitute a “mass gathering.” We have the experience of one year of having our health protocols in place in our churches, and as is experienced by those who come to church, these are well observed. Our priests and church volunteers are well aware of their responsibilities and they do them well,” he said.
As a response to his own challenge of not just focusing more on the “10%”, the Archdiocese is organizing a day of helping the poor and the needy on Holy Thursday.
“The Lord Jesus gave us a new commandment to love one another as he loved us. We concretely show this love by caring for the poor. Let the every parish distribute material help to people who are most affected by the lack of food during these days of the pandemic,” the Bishop said.
“Holy Week is not just any ordinary time for the Christian believers. It is a time during which we feel more specially God’s love for us so we are drawn these days to thank and worship him more intensely.” (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)