Catholic prelates to tackle pandemic during their assembly this month

Published January 21, 2021, 10:33 AM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

Catholic prelates are expected to tackle the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to the church during their Plenary Assembly this month.

Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio of the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines (CBCP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Most likely, we are to discuss the impact of COVID-19 as a parish and as a diocese,” said Bishop Oscar Florencio of the Military Ordinariate.

“How did it affect the religiosity and religious observances of the people. What were the good practices too,” he added.

The vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Health Care said they will also tackle the COVID-19 vaccines.

“We shall also discuss the vaccines that are upcoming. Is this the most efficient in terms of effect to the health, can it cure us or can it safeguard us,” said Florencio.

“Another aspect will be on the issue that some vaccines use some aborted fetuses,” he added.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos believes the COVID-19 vaccine must be discussed as the main item.

“Vaccines should be accessible to all, respecting one’s freedom of choice for vaccines, and never be used as a political tool to win people or to silence them. They should always take into strict consideration its safety and effectiveness, and affordability,” he said.

Aside from the COVID-19, Bishop Florencio said another issue that will be taken up are the atrocities of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army and the responses made by the government.

The Plenary Assembly, which is the highest decision-making body of the CBCP, meets twice a year, in January and in July.

The gathering was cancelled in July, 2020, due to the pandemic.

The Plenary Assembly will be held on January 26 – 27 online.