Catholic Church yet to get green light from authorities to reopen

  • Nation
  • Friday, 22 May 2020

PETALING JAYA: The Catholic Church has not received confirmation from the authorities on the reopening of its churches, says the Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur.

Its communications and media relations officer Patricia Pereira said the Catholic Church had received no further news from the authorities, apart from what had been released to the public.

"The Catholic Church has submitted a list of churches from several dioceses under the Bishops Conference of Malaysia to the Ministry of National Unity.

"We have no news with regard to churches that have been selected. Neither are we privy to the criteria for selection, apart from the requirement that the church must be located in a green zone," she said in a statement on Friday (May 22).

On Thursday (May 21), Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that non-Muslim houses of worship in green zones nationwide would be allowed to reopen, starting June 10.

However, Ismail said a maximum of only 30 people would be allowed in the premises at any one time, while children below 12 and senior citizens above 70 would not be allowed to enter.

Pereira said it was aware that many of its church members were eager to attend services, but she pleaded with them to be patient.

"We must weigh different considerations before we decide to reopen our churches, namely compliance with the restrictions imposed by the government, current development of this health crisis which remains volatile, the advice of our medical and public health consultants, the capacity of the identified parishes to meet the demands of the standard operating procedures (SOP) and other public health protocols," she said.

She added that spiritual support would continue to be provided to the community through various initiatives, especially via live streaming of masses.

"Since the start of the suspension of public masses, the Catholic bishops have dispensed the faithful from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and Holy days of obligation.

"This dispensation remains in force for all the faithful, even if some parishes are allowed to resume masses in a limited and restricted way based on the National Security Council's SOP," she said.

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