KOTA KINABALU: The Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu is suspending all public masses and gathering starting March 14 to April 1 due to Covid-19 that has now been declared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a pandemic.
Archbishop John Wong in a statement Friday announced that the measure has been taken in accordance to advice the church received from the State Ministry of Health that had earlier issued a recommendation that all gatherings must be put to a halt.
“Temporary suspension of church gatherings is also taken as one of the measures to contain massive outbreaks of Covid-19 in Sabah where there are confirmed cases.
“Effective tomorrow (March 14), all masses, meetings, and gatherings such as catechism classes, RCIA sessions and Penitential services of Stations of the Cross of Fridays during this season of Lent shall no longer be held,” he stated, adding that other programmes of the church in all parishes of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu too will be temporary suspended.
However, Wong mentioned that weddings or funerals may be conducted privately with guests limited to immediate family members and close friends, and those concerned are to contact and seek further details and advice from their respective parish priest.
“As for any other Sacraments, the faithful are advised to contact the parish office and parish priests are required to take necessary health precautions in administrating the sacraments,” he stressed.
He also disclosed that parishes would opt for live broadcasting of masses in various languages, like how it is being done by St Peter Claver Parish in Ranau, going by the call name of Cahaya Kinabalu.
“At this moment of time, be united and continue to pray, seek God to show mercy by bringing an end to the spread of Covid-19,” he urged.
The state government has called on all gatherings involving more than 50 people to be postponed until further notice.