An official of Quiapo Church said they will comply with the National Task Force Against COVID-19 resolution suspending the “traslacion” or procession of the image of the Black Nazarene and other activities related to it.
In an interview, Msgr. Hernando “Ding” Coronel, Quiapo Church rector, said they are complying “because of the health situation.”
He said they will continue to pray for those who are sick, those who died because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and for the pandemic to end.
“We are once more in another surge; we pray for an end to this pandemic. For those who passed away, we commend them to the mercy of the Nazareno. For those who are sick, a fast recovery. For those affected by economic hardships, help from a concerned community. For those affected by typhoon Odette, compassion from those more blessed in life. We continue responding in faith and charity as long as this pandemic persists,” said Coronel on Wednesday, Jan. 5.
Fr. Douglas Badong, parochial vicar of Quiapo Church, admitted being saddened by the NTF decision.
“Of course we are saddened, especially for the devotees, because we know how important it is to them, to all of us, since we only cling our faith to the Black Nazarene,” he said.
“We want to respect their (NTF) decision. At the same time, we also understand how the devotees feel about this,” Badong added.
Their fellow priest Fr. Danichi Hui also expressed sadness with the decision.
“It is sad because we did not expect this will be the decision of the Inter Agency Task Force. Despite our assurance and proofs that last year we were able to celebrate well without being branded as ‘super spreader,’ from which the IATF also recognized that the increase of cases did not happen,” he said.
“But as a Church with moral obligations and social responsibility we will abide to our government’s call. We will cooperate with them and even offer our help in case they do not have plans yet to organize our faithful. But we are confident that they know what they are doing and rely to them on disiminating the info that we will close our Church and that there will be no congregation during the Fiesta,” Hui added.
“With deep sadness in our hearts we accept their decision with humility,” he said.
Aside from suspending the traslacion, the NTF resolution also said that Quiapo Church will be closed from Jan. 7 to 9 and no Holy Mass shall be physically conducted on the said dates.