Archdiocese of Manila insists opening of churches in NCR Plus bubble for Holy Week

The Archdiocese of Manila said Wednesday that it was not disobeying the order of the country’s response task force after they issued a pastoral instruction regarding Holy Week activities this week.

This is after the government banned religious gatherings in the so-called “NCR plus bubble” until April 4 or Easter due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

But according to Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, they only insist on the “right to worship” of the believer in his pastoral instruction.

Under such a statement, churches under the archdiocese will be open starting this Wednesday at up to 10 percent capacity.

Bishop Pabillo added that they will issue a clarificatory note this Wednesday regarding his pastoral instruction. This was after a meeting with the priests in his archdiocese to explain it.

“Nagkaroon kami ng pagpupulong para maipaliwanag ko lang ang pastoral instruction at nagkasundo kami na maglalabas kami ng clarificatory note kasi iyan po ay hindi defiance sa IATF (Inter-agency Task Force on COVID-19 response). Iyan po ay affirmation ng aming right to worship kaya ilalabas po iyan, ang clarificatory note ngayong araw,” he said in an interview with Radio Veritas.

Archdiocese of Manila insists opening of churches in NCR Plus bubble for Holy Week

Pabillo reminded that there is a “principle of subsidiarity” that is followed in the Church. This means, he will give instruction and it is up to the local church how to implement it.

He said it still depends on the priest and pastoral leaders if they can open a church in their area.

Churches in Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasay, and San Juan are under the archdiocese of Manila.

“Ibig sabihin magbibigay tayo ng instruction, tapos ang titingin niyan kung paano ipatupad iyan ay depende sa local na simbahan natin, sa mga local organizations natin,” Pabillo explained.

“Noong panahon pa naman, ang dami na nating simbahan na nagsasara dahil sa situation nga nila na malakas sa kanilang barangay, na may na-infect sa kanilang simbahan kaya nagsasara sila. So ang pagpapatupad noon ay depende sa mga local parishes.”

Malacañang had earlier criticized pastoral instruction and warned that the temporary of churches was for the good of all.