“No room for selfishness, individualism” Moroccan Cardinal Urges Solidarity over COVID-19

Cristobal Lopez Cardinal Romero, Archbishop of Rabat, Morocco.

A Church leader in the north African nation of Morocco has called for solidarity in taking preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic because the deadly virus does not make distinctions between people or geographical borders.

“There is no room for selfishness and individualism; we are in the same boat,” Cristobal Lopez Cardinal Romero stated in a message addressed to the faithful over COVID-19, Tuesday, March 17, Vatican News reported

“The virus does not respect borders and makes no distinction between one country and another. And the measures that one country takes have immediate repercussions on others, on the world economy, on trade and on communications, " the Archbishop of Rabat added. 

According to the Cardinal, the COVID-19 pandemic is “an opportunity to live and show solidarity, an opportunity to feel like citizens of the world and members of the only family that is Humanity.”

On Tuesday March 17, the Morrocan Ministry of Health confirmed six new cases of the virus, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the country to 44.


The country has also recorded two deaths and one full recovery from the virus.

The government of the North African nation suspended all international flights and temporarily closed schools in the country until further notice in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

Against this backdrop, the Moroccan Cardinal said the measures put in place must be respected “out of love for others.” 

“We must think for the good of all. The suspension of meetings and Sunday Mass should be seen as an act of solidarity for the whole of humanity and as a gesture of love for one's neighbour, for our neighbours, for our colleagues,” the Cardinal said. 

According to Vatican News, all Catholics in Morocco are exempted from the observance of the Sunday Mass precept.  

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However, priests who will celebrate Mass on their own “will pray for the whole community and for the whole world,” the Archbishop of Rabat said.

“Some people may be together with the priest, such as the catechumens who will be baptized at Easter this year,” Cardinal Romero said and added, “Other religious or concelebrating priests should stay at home.” 

He continued, “It will be possible, in this sense, to follow the Sunday Eucharistic celebration on TV or by other means. The faithful are also invited to be creative and to pray as a family, especially the Rosary.” 

For the Cardinal, COVID-19 presents an opportunity for understanding events “in the light of the Word of God, knowing that God is capable of taking away even the good from our sins and the evil we have committed.”

In his view, “The coronavirus reminds us that we are mortal, that we are weak, that man is not omnipotent, that technology and science cannot solve everything.” 


He Further warned against sentiments that COVID-19 virus is a punishment from God saying, “Let us not hold God responsible for what is our responsibility, the responsibility of our way of life, our way of acting.”

Instead, the Prelate urged, “Let us return to God in prayer, to ask Him to free us from this scourge.”  

“The pandemic makes us stop, forces us to stay at home, gives us time for ourselves and for the family,” he further said, adding that “the important thing is to live all this in the context of faith.” 

While the virus is spreading during the Lenten season, the Cardinal invites all faithful to “a fast that we had never thought of: the involuntary privation of the Eucharist.” 

He added, “All this can literally lead to Jesus' invitation to prayer where he says: "When you pray, enter your room, close the door and pray to your Father in secret.” 

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The Archbishop of Rabat has encouraged “almsgiving and mutual help and assures that priests, religious and pastoral agents will be available to help the sick, to bring them consolation, the Word of God and communion.”


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.