Bethlehem in Lockdown

An urgent call for prayer and support for Christians in Bethlehem has come from two charities which are warning that Coronavirus lockdown could plunge the faithful into desperate poverty.

A week after the Palestinian Authority (PA) declared a state of emergency and put Bethlehem in lockdown, all tourists are banned from the West Bank, tourism has ceased, and the Church of the Nativity and other places of worship in Bethlehem remain closed.

With nearly 30 cases of Coronavirus reported, the Israel Defence Forces acting in cooperation with the PA, are enforcing checkpoints to stop people from entering or leaving Bethlehem.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://zenit.org/

Bishops of Philippines Urge Prayer, Fasting for Coronavirus Emergency

The Catholic hierarchy has called for a day of prayer and fasting to end of the coronavirus epidemic, according to CBCP News.

In a statement issued on March 13, the bishops’ collegial body exhorted the faithful to keep their faith firm during this “time of crisis”.

Archbishop Romulo Valles, the president of the bishops’ conference, particularly called for prayers for those who are infected with the COVID-19 and those who have died.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://zenit.org/

Statement by Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Together with all Canadians, the Catholic Bishops of Canada are following with deep concern the current developments in Canada and throughout the world regarding the rapid global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) which can in certain cases be the cause of serious illness and even death.

The pandemic is now also spreading across Canada. This new virus is understandably a source of anxiety and fear for many. Practical information on responding to the virus and mitigating its spread is available from local public health officials, as well as from the federal and provincial governments, and should be heeded. Catholic faithful are invited to consult their local diocesan/eparchial websites for the preventive measures to be followed for pastoral care and liturgies. Concern for each person and the common good must always be paramount.

As Catholics, we see in every illness a reminder of our own mortality, as well as an invitation to share in Christ’s ministry of healing. In the face of suffering and sickness, Christians are to be credible witnesses to the Lord’s enduring love, providence, and power in our midst. His mercy and care are always present and available.

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://zenit.org/

Morning Catholic must-reads: 16/03/20

When it’s not possible to receive the Eucharist, spiritual communion is “a highly recommended practice”, Pope Francis said at yesterday’s Angelus (full text, full video).

Seven Italian priests have reportedly died from the coronavirus.

Greece’s Orthodox Church has declared that the Eucharist “cannot be a cause of disease transmission” (Nick Kampouris).

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://catholicherald.co.uk/

ASK FATHER: If the diocese cancelled Mass, but Father says Mass anyway, can we attend? Can government forbid it?

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Our Gov. In NC has banned gatherings of 100, church and schools alike (but not restaurants, malls, etc). One is subject to Misdemeanor II charges. Our holy priest told a parishioner that he will say mass at 8 am and not ask anyone to leave should they come. Although our Bishop has cancelled and given dispensation, is it considered going against magisterium by the priest and or faithful to attend in this scenario? What about separation of church and state?

Praise the Lord

Read the Whole Article at https://wdtprs.com/