DOP CIRCULAR NO 2020-047
08 July 2020
TO: ALL PARISH PRIESTS, PARISH ADMINISTRATORS, RECTORS, CHAPLAINS, GUEST PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN, and LAY FAITHFUL IN THE DIOCESE OF PARAÑAQUE
RE: UPDATE ON THE EXTENSION OF THE GENERAL COMMUNITY QUARANTINE (GCQ)
My dear brother priests and lay faithful,
Greetings in Christ!
The Philippine Government has recently announced the easing of their protocol on religious gatherings by allowing the use of 10 percent of the total seating capacity of the church starting July 10. In this regard, we reiterate the following points to be observed in the parishes of the Diocese of Paranaque while we are still in the period of General Community Quarantine (GCQ);
- In accordance with the prudent judgement of the pastors and with very serious consideration on the readiness of their respective parishes, Masses may now be opened to the faithful, following the “10 percent of the total seating capacity of the church.” This is to be done in compliance with DOP CIRCULAR 2020-042 concerning the Guidelines on the Possible Resumption of Religious Celebrations for the “New Normal” and the strict observance of minimum public health standards as mandated by the IATF.
- If however, the pastor decides to postpone the opening to a later date, in view of a more intensive and careful preparation of the logistical requirements, and most especially the orientation, formation, and actual training of personnel, he may do so as long as the faithful are informed ahead of time.
- Parishes are obliged to continue with their live-streamed Masses and other devotional celebrations through social media platforms in order to provide the faithful who are not able to come physically to the church. The dispensation from Sunday obligation and receiving Holy Communion is still in effect.
- Baptism, Marriage and other sacramentals may follow the “10 percent of the total capacity of the church” but still with strict compliance to the other essential aspects
of the Guidelines on the Possible Resumption of Religious Celebrations on the New Normal and the minimum public health standards.
- Funeral masses, blessings, confessions and anointing of the sick will still follow our directives on DOP CIRCULAR NO. 2020-042 on the Celebration of the Sacrament and Sacramentals on the Extension of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
We thank the Lord for granting our prayers for the resumption of our religious gatherings with a more practical and logical number of people to be accommodated. But with the easing of this protocol, we constantly remind everyone to be more prudent and careful in our decisions and actions, considering that the threats and cases of COVID-19 are still increasing every day. Let us not be complacent and careless in observing the safety protocols of the Government for our own security and protection.
I also ask everyone to pray for the sick and all our medical frontlines so that the Lord, our greatest Doctor and Healer, may strengthen and encourage them to hold on to their faith in facing their challenging situation. We pray for our political leaders that they may always be enlightened and guided by the Holy Spirit to make good, wise and moral decisions for our country so that our hope in this time of crisis will not be put in vain. We pray for everyone that we may continue to fix our gaze on Jesus so that we will always be assured of his abiding and consoling presence in our lives.
(Sgd.) MOST REV. JESSE E. MERCADO, D.D.
Bishop of Parañaque
(Sgd.) REV. FR. CARMELO O. ESTORES
Attached: Video Message from His Excellency, Most Rev. Jesse E. Mercado, D.D.