Mozambican Prelate Calls for Adherence to COVID-19 Regulations Ahead of Ordination

Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Mozambique’s Maputo Archdiocese.
Credit: Public Domain

Public worship having been allowed to resume in Mozambique, a Catholic Prelate in the Southern African country is calling for adherence to the COVID-19 regulations set by the government during the Diaconate and Priestly ordination set for September.

At a service on Sunday, August 23, Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Mozambique’s Maputo Archdiocese said that only “a few family members” of the candidates to be ordained will be allowed to attend the event.

“With the resumption of public Masses, I decided to proceed with the Diaconate and Priestly ordinations, in September, with only the participation of a few family members and Priests, and I count on your valuable prayer,” said Archbishop Chimoio.

Following the lifting of the ban on public gatherings, allowing the resumption of public worship starting August 18, the Archbishop of Maputo wrote to parishioners and Parish Priests of the Archdiocese to express his joy at the phased resumption of collective activities.

“I address you this way to once again greet and encourage you on the journey of faith and the Church. We've been going through trials! When we thought that the problem of the new coronavirus was very early, reality shows that the path we still need to travel is hard,” the Mozambican Prelate said.

In his statement dated August 15, the Archbishop add, “In the declaration of the current State of Emergency, we were given the possibility to return to public Masses. We were very happy. But we must also have a great sense of responsibility to avoid the spread of the virus.”

In days that followed, Archbishop Chimoio went ahead to draft a protocol that would be specific to the Archdiocese, including limiting each Church service to only 50 people.

For instance, at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist of Mozambique’s Xai-xai Diocese located some 250 km from the capital, Maputo, the Sunday, August 23 Mass was attended by only 12 worshippers.

Archbishop Chimoio said that Parishes, which would not follow the protocols, including advising the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions against attending public Masses, would risk being closed.

In this first phase of the reopening of places of worship, the elderly and sick faithful should participate in the celebration of Mass at home by following Radio Maria, the Prelate said, adding that monitoring teams would be required to support the Parishes with regard to COVID-19 preventive measures.

ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]