Harare, 30 March, 2020 / 6:30 am (ACI Africa).
With three confirmed COVID-19 cases and one related death in Zimbabwe, Catholic Bishops in the Southern African nation on Tuesday, March 24 resolved to close all Churches in the country, to facilitate “effective self-isolation for all.”
“We have, therefore, further resolved as a Conference to close all Catholic Churches for public liturgical services and Church related gatherings with immediate effect on this 24 day of March 2020, until further notice, to allow for effective self-isolation for all,” reads part of a statement by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) seen by ACI Africa.
The Bishops have added in their collective statement, “This will mean that all of us will have to stay and pray at home, including sharing the Sacred Scriptures and saying the Rosary individually and as a family.”
The Bishops have instructed Priests to celebrate individual Mass in their respective parishes and institutions on a daily basis, a culture that they (Bishops) have said will ensure “that the faithful can join in spiritual communion with the priests of the Church.”
“Knowing that Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass where possible; following its prayers; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we will share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days,” the Bishops have stated and added, “These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.”