Bishop: Cancel trips to the Holy Land for now

Published March 8, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Ann Aquino

Due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a Catholic prelate urged those planning to go to the Holy Land this Lenten season to postpone it.

Bishop Ruperto Santos (CBCP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Bishop Ruperto Santos

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said the faithful should prioritize their personal safety.

“They should postpone. First, personal safety is utmost priority,” he said in an interview Sunday.

Santos added: “Some sacred places, Bethlehem, etc. are closed to pilgrims; and limited number of pilgrims are allowed to other places.”

For the common good, he said gathering of huge groups should be avoided.

Bishop Santos said what the faithful should do at this time is to pray more.

“Pray more, be more cautious with our personal hygiene and always follow the medical directives of our government officials,” he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier also advised Filipinos planning to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land to postpone their trips until further notice.

This was after the Palestinian Authority decided to temporarily ban the entry of all tourists into the West Bank, including Bethlehem and Jericho