As Nigeria battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the Catholic Church has given an indication that church services will continue in most parts of the country except Lagos and Abuja.
The secretary of Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Zacharia Samjumi, on Wednesday, told Premium Times that bishops are to take decisions in their various diocese.
“After the meeting held by the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria, each Bishop was advised to talk to their faithful how the social situation is in their environment,” he said
Holy Mass Suspension
The Catholic Diocese of Abuja has, therefore, directed the suspension all kinds of religious mass gatherings to contain the coronavirus ( CORVID -19), pandemic.
This directive is issued to all Catholic churches in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This is coming three days after the Lagos Archdiocese suspended the public mass attendance by the faithful.
The Archbishop of Lagos, Alfred Martins, gave the directive on March 22.
The decision is as a result of the advice by the Nigerian government to Abuja and Lagos residents to stay at home and also in line with the bishop’s conference agreement.
The Archbishop of the Dioceses, Ignatius Kaigaima, disclosed his decision in a statement he signed on Wednesday.
“On the account of the stay at home order especially for Abuja and Lagos, we hereby temporarily suspend the common celebration of the holy mass, benediction, stations of the cross amongst others, ” it said.
The government had advised citizens of both states to stay at home and avoid mass gatherings until further notice.
Mr Kaigaima said the suspension will be reviewed in two weeks.
He advised priests to celebrate live masses and have them streamed on the internet.
“Parishioners should be encouraged to participate at masses aired on EWTV, CTV, Lumen Christi, AIT, and other television channels,”it said.
“Priests should explain clearly to the faithful that being unable to participate physically at communal liturgy function is also an opportunity to seek alternative ways of living our faith, “it added.
The statement encourages families to pray together and celebrate the word of God.
It requested that priests hand out daily reflections, prayers and homilies to their parishioners using text messages, Whatsapp and Twitter.
“Priest should make known to their parishioners the telephone number of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),0800 9700 0010,” he said.