Lusaka, 25 May, 2020 / 6:05 am (ACI Africa).
Members of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) have resolved to have individual Local Ordinaries in the Southern African nation make “the final decision” on the resumption of liturgical celebrations in their respective dioceses, including the measures to curb the possible spread of COVID-19.
“After a due process of consultation, we have resolved to entrust the Local Ordinaries with the mandate of making the final decision as to when, where and how the liturgical celebrations and other Church gatherings will resume,” the Bishops in Zambia said Saturday, May 23.
“In principle, the agreement is that this will be not only a cautious but also a gradual process to be guided by the Local Ordinaries in their respective jurisdictions,” the Bishops added in their collective statement in which they propose the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday, May 31 as the possible date for reopening of their churches for public worship.
While addressing the nation on April 24, Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu said that places of worship may reopen after they had been closed as one of the measures to curb the possible spread of COVID-19. However, while some Christian denominations went ahead to reopen their churches, the Catholic churches in the country have remained closed.
For instance, following the President’s directives, the Archbishop of Lusaka and the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Ndola, Archbishop Alick Banda directed the people of God under his care to wait for further guidance before they can resume public liturgical celebrations.