They also urge the inhabitants of the West African nation to observe “the basic precautionary measures that will help minimize the spread of the virus as well as protect oneself from being infected with Covid-19.”
“May our Lady, Mother of the Church and Health of the sick intercede for us and the whole world,” the Church leaders conclude.
Previously, the Bishops had directed Ministers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion “to wash their hands or use sanitizer before and after distributing Holy Communion” while the faithful were asked to receive Holy Communion in the hand.
Following the March 16 collective letter, individual Bishops have encouraged the clergy, religious and lay faithful to comply with the directives given by GCBC and applied the instructions in their respective contexts.
For instance, in a letter seen by ACI Africa, Bishop Richard Kuuia Baawobr of Ghana’s Wa diocese has announced the postponement of the final profession and jubilee of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and the Silver Jubilee of Episcopacy of the diocese’s Bishop Emeritus.
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Meanwhile, Church leaders in in different countries of Africa have also taken measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
In Morocco, where 17 cases and one death of the virus have been recorded, the Archbishop of Rabat, Cristobal Cardinal Lopez Romero called for the “dispensation from the Sunday precept for the duration of the epidemic,” La Croix News reported.
The Prelate maintained weekly Masses but restricted attendance to “50 people per gathering.”
“The sign of the peace of Christ and the communion on the tongue are suppressed as well as the use of holy water in the holy water fonts,” the Archbishop of Rabat directed.
In the Central African country of Cameroon, with two cases of the COVID-19 virus recorded, Archbishop Jean Mbarga of Yaoundé decreed that a distance be maintained between people in Church while Holy Communion be received on the hands.
Though Benin is yet to record a case of the deadly virus, the Bishops’ Conference in the country has already taking preventive measures, La Croix reported.
In a communique issued March 12, the Bishops’ Conference of Benin directed that the Body of Christ be received on the palm.
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.