Catholics urged not to kiss, touch sacred images

FOLLOWING the order of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the Archdiocese of Cebu will prohibit devotees from kissing and touching sacred images inside churches as a preventive measure against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The CBCP released Circular No. 20-10 on March 10, 2020, which are a set of measures it is recommeding chuches that are not meant to "change traditions of the Church but rather are temporary precautions during this time of crisis."

Monsignor Joseph Tan, media liason of the Archdiocese of Cebu, advised Catholics that, as of now, praying infront of images is enough.

"What is required is a silent prayer in front of the sacred images. Di lang hikapon o halokon (one should refrain from touching and kissing)," Tan said.

Tan added that during communion rights, faithfuls should use their hands instead of receiving the host with their mouth.

Holy water fonts at the entrance of churches should also be emptied to prevent the risk of contamination. They can, however, request for holy water from a church personnel.

Tan clarified that the Sacrament of Confession will remain a face-to-face coversation between the faithful and the priest for confidentiality.

He said that there will be no changes in activities for the upcoming Holy Week this April but further announcements will be made as the the Covid-19 situation progresses. (JCT)