With the Government of the Philippines easing the COVD-19 restrictions and protocols, President Pablo Virgilio David, D.D. of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) calls for Catholics in the country to return to masses in their churches.
Cebu Daily News Inquirer reported that the message of the president and bishop of Caloocan released his message in a circular to bishops and diocesan administrators on Oct. 14.
CBCPs Message for Return of Catholics
In his message, Bishop David gave thanks to God for the weakening of the pandemic and the relaxed health protocols that came along with it. He added that the eased protocols give the people the freedom to move and to return to their "normal life and business."
He then said, "These circumstances permit and oblige us to return to the normality of Christian life, which has the Church building as its home of the celebration of the liturgy, especially the Eucharist,"
Bishop David also said that even with the online options now available, there is no replacement for the experience that people can get from personal participation.
Even with the relaxed protocols, the CBCP is still dedicated to following the protocols given by the government to ensure the safety of the parishioners coming into the churches.
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines
According to the CBCP page, the organization traces its roots to the Most Rev. William Piani, D.D., apostolic delegate to the Philippines. Rev, Pianini would create the then called Catholic Welfare Organization or CWO in 1945 at the University of Santo Tomas interment camp.
After the Japanese occupation ended in the country, the organization would be made the official organization of the Hierarchy of the Philippines.
The organization is a creation of the Second Vatican Council to promote the "greater good which the Church offers to humankind." It added that the organization foes not encroach on the autonomy of individual bishops. What the organization aims to do is to promote solidarity of the Philippine Church, create policies and programs, and to provide active engagement of the church.
President Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.
The Caloocan Bishop, President Pablo Virgilio David, D.D. became the president of the conference in 2021. According to PNA, the bishop was chosen for the position after a two-day online assembly of bishops. Prior to his post, he served as the vice president of the organization since 2017.
The article said that over the years, Bishop David has served as a bishop in San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and Pasig.
According to Union of Catholic Asian News, the priest is a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University and the Loyola School of Theology. He also has a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of Louvain.
Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions in the Philippines
The Manila Times reported on the relaxed restrictions against COVID-19 in the country. One of this is the mandated return to in-person classes. The country is also now allowing people to not wear masks in "low-risk outdoor spaces."