Catholic Faithful Troop Back to Prayer Houses
The Catholic faithful today trooped back to prayer houses en mass after their leaders reignited the systems observing that government was neither following nor enforcing measures it had put in place to help curb the spread of the corona virus and Covid-19.
The gatherings, however, are being held in strict adherence to government and Church approved measures to mitigate the possible spread of the deadly virus.
This includes restricting congregations to a maximum of 100 worshippers, frequent washing of hands with soap, use of sanitizers and doing away with practices that stretch durations of services.
“I am happy that we can pray in church once again. But we also understand why our leaders said we should stay away. When the Jews wanted to kill Jesus, his foster father and mother escaped with him to Egypt. But Jesus is God. That should teach as a big lesson.
“Should the need arise again that we stay home, we shall obey knowing that the instruction is in service of God. There can not be a Church without people, without leaders,” said Stanislus Chinkhukuzeni of St. Francis Parish in Lilongwe Archdiocese.
President of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, confirmed this with Zodiak Online after the bishops’ conference May 5-7 in Mangochi diocese where the decision was made and a directive issued for the Church in Malawi to follow.
The restrictions in the Catholic Church brought about internal friction as members argued what purpose suspension of service served when elsewhere people were still gathering in other religious denominations, in funerals and political gatherings organized by government officials.
“We observed indeed that government was not following the same guidelines that it put in place,” said Archbishop Msusa.
The bishops say their decision has been made after ‘listening’ to various stakeholders including medical experts.