Catholic Church Statement on Coronavirus in South Africa

In the wake of the declaration of Covid-19 as a national disaster by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and taking into account the increasing number of infected people, the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) fully supports the call to take serious and drastic measures to prevent the spread of Corona Virus in the country.

This offers an opportunity for us to renew our appreciation of the value of Prayer at Home and in private – this has as we know a particular relevance in Lent where we are encouraged “when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret, will repay you.” (Matt 6: 6) We are encouraged to read our Bibles and to hold Services of the Word; we are able to be in “spiritual communion” with our Lord in the Eucharist and in our Neighbour.

Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, as the President of the SACBC, has alerted all Bishops to adhere to the call of the government on this pandemic.

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Hard Times for Asylum Seekers in Greece

Asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos are each there for different reasons, according to Caritas.

One Afghan father says he is protecting his daughter after a rival tribe claimed her as a bride price in a dispute. Another has seen his own father tortured and killed and knows he is on the same list. A third is looking for medical treatment to prevent his blindness from deteriorating.

There are 42,000 asylum seekers trapped on the five hotspots on the Greek islands. They have fled persecution in Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria. Half of them live in and around Moria Camp on Lesbos, with 20,000 people in a camp intended for just 3000. Half of the camp’s population is under 18. Families live without tents. Sanitation and health services are minimal. Mud and rubbish run through it. One thousand children traveling without a guardian have no protection, no education, no healthcare. Many of them are sleeping out in the open.

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Diocese in Philippines Responds to Coronavirus Crisis

A Catholic diocese in Metro Manila has offered its churches and schools as temporary ‘field of hospitals’ for coronavirus patients if the need arises, according to CBCP News.

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan said the diocese is willing to open its facilities in the event that public health facilities become insufficient.

“If we need to open our Churches, chapels, and schools and turn them into temporary field hospitals for the sick, we should do so in the name of Christian compassion and charity,” David said.

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Coronavirus Update: March 17

Further to the directives in memo of March 16, 2020 and effectively immediately:– The 11:30 am Sunday Mass at the Cathedral will be live-streamed beginning Sunday, March 29.– All Masses are cancelled until April 18, 2020, including weekday Masses-Chrism Mass, scheduled April 7, is cancelled.– Funeral masses and receptions in parishes are not permitted until further notice– Sacrament of Baptism […]

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