Nairobi, 20 March, 2020 / 4:31 am (ACI Africa).
Church leaders in Kenya and Uganda have, in separate statements issued Thursday, March 19, announced that Churches will remain open in the two East African countries for public Mass, a move that has attracted both praise and condemnation from the faithful as governments take a raft of measures to contain possible spread of COVID-19.
“Our Churches will remain open; they are not closing. They will be the focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength from God,” reads part of a statement by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB).
In the three-page statement, the Prelates in Kenya direct, “The Holy Masses will continue to be celebrated in our Churches but the Bishops' Conference recommends that the Diocesan Bishops grant temporary dispensation from the Sunday obligation for the next three weeks for any faithful who may need it.”
In the collective statement signed by KCCB Chairman, Archbishop Philip Anyolo, the Prelates provide that for those who are able to attend Sunday Mass, they “may do so observing all the measures of prudence” while the priests are advised to “exercise caution in regard to large gatherings, that is, keeping the recommended distance of one metre.”
The Bishops also direct, in the 13-point statement, that the Masses “should be brief.”