THE VATICAN, Italy (The Adobo Chronicles, Rome Bureau) – It is no secret that Italy has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and even The Vatican has all but shut down in adherence to social distancing.
Today is Palm Sunday where the gospel reading talks about Pontius Pilate washing his hands as he committed Jesus to the people’s demand for the Christ’s cruxifixion.
On the eve of the start of Holy Week, Pope Francis addressed all of Christendom, seated in the middle of an empty St. Peter’s Square, to announce that the church is naming Pontius Pilate the patron saint of all who are affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Francis urged all Catholics to emulate Pilate by washing their hands.
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – The Diocese of Rome has canceled all public Masses until April 3 in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The announcement by the vicar general of the diocese, published Sunday evening, follows a decree by the Italian government suspending all public religious ceremonies.
With the advent of local transmission of COVID-19, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Phiippines (CBCP) is expected to do the same for all Roman Catholic Churches throughout the country.
The cancellation of Sunday masses is expected to severely impact the Catholic Churches’ collections which is a major source of income.
But leave it to the entrepreneurial skills of the CBCP hierarchy to come up with alternative modes of collecting money from churchgoers.
Informed sources told The Adobo Chronicles that CBCP is now setting up PayMaya as an alernative to the Sunday collection baskets.
PayMaya is an online payment account that has an app where you can load up in convenience stores, pawnshops, and mall and can purchase anything online.
It’s business as usual!
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – On Ash Wednesday, millions of Catholic Filipinos will flock to their churches to receive holy ash on their foreheads —a ritual that kicks off the observance of the annual Lenten season.
But as part of the Catholic Church’s precautionary measures in connection with the coronavirus threat, some changes will be implemented this year.
In Caloocan, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David has suggested that instead of marking a cross, dry ash will be sprinkled on people’s foreheads. However, for the protection of priests and other clergy, only church attendees wearing N95 facial masks will be given the sprinkled ash.
Elsewhere, the marking with ash will be totally scrapped in favor of using thermal scanners on people’s foreheads to check for temperature that could be a sign of infection with COVID 19. Those with temperature will be immediately referred to the Department of Health for investigation and possible quarantine. Ambulances will be on standby outside the churches.
A spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines told The Adobo Chronicles that the measures are but part of the Catholic’s commitment to do its share in preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
As the bible says, the shepherd will protect his sheep at all cost.