2 COVID-19-infected priests did not celebrate mass in Iloilo church – archdiocese

Published July 8, 2020, 5:10 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY — To allays the fears of the Catholic faithful in Iloilo City, the Archdiocese of Jaro clarified that the two priests infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) did not celebrate Eucharistic mass at any parish church in Iloilo City.

Churchgoers practice physical distancing while attending Eucharistic mass at Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo City. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)
Churchgoers practice physical distancing while attending Eucharistic mass at Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo City. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

“It was not at a parish church, but a chapel of a religious order,” emphasized Fr. Angelo Colada, the archdiocese’s social communications director.

This was following reports that two priests celebrated holy mass while results of their swab tests for COVID-19 were still pending.

 “They don’t even have a parish because both of the priests belong to a religious order. The mass was held for several members of the group and not with many people,” Colada told Manila Bulletin.

The two priests were not from Iloilo, but came from Metro Manila for their assignment.

Colada cannot ascertain when they arrived, but surmised it may have been in the last week of June. 

Colada added the archdiocese did not know of their arrival, especially when there was supposed to be travel restrictions from high-risk areas.

Based on initial probe of the archdiocese, the two priests yielded negative results in rapid tests prior to their departure in Metro Manila and when they arrived in Iloilo.

“But then, they tested positive for the swab test,” Colada added.

Meanwhile, all those who attended the special mass at the chapel presided by the two priests have already been placed under strict isolation as they have also undergone swab tests.

 
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