Libreville, 24 October, 2020 / 10:03 pm (ACI Africa).
Churches in Gabon will reopen for public worship on Sunday, October 25, the Catholic Bishops in the Central African nation have said in a collective message, a decision that goes against the government’s October 16 announcement to defer the resumption of public worship by five more days.
The government of Gabon set October 30 as the day for the resumption of public worship with a 30-person congregation who must first provide their COVID-19 status and register with the Ministry of the Interior. The public worship would last an hour at most, the government directed.
“On behalf of the Episcopal Conference of Gabon (CEG) I want to emphasize that no door in our parishes will remain closed on October 25,” the Archbishop of Gabon’s Libreville, Jean Patrick Iba-Ba told journalists Tuesday, October 20, making reference to the collective decision of the Catholic Bishops in the country.
He added, “We are going to celebrate the living and true God. In a world of the living God, before opening the doors of the parishes, we must first open our hearts to God's action.”
Archbishop Iba-Ba was making reference to the Bishops’ October 4 announcement, when they indicated that public worship, which was suspended in mid-March amid COVID-19 restrictions, would resume on October 25 with the “Rite of Opening the Holy Door” in all Cathedrals in the country.