Abu Dhabi (Agenzia Fides) - "The current situation is a time for us as Catholics to give an example of faith, hope and charity in the midst of anxiety and uncertainty, especially through our Lenten practices. I recommend the intention for the end of the coronavirus and for all those affected to our public prayers, as well as to your personal prayers, self-denial and charity this Lent": says Mgr. Paul Hinder OFM Cap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, in a letter addressed to the clergy and lay faithful of the Vicariate.
The Vicar recalls the prayer of the mass, when the priest says: "Deliver us, Lord, we pray from every evil, graciously grant peace in our day, that by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ".
Bishop Hinder reminds the faithful that "the United Arab Emirates government authorities are taking timely and effective precautions to greatly minimize the risk of the spread of the virus. There is, therefore, no need for us to be unduly alarmed or panic". Urging the faithful to take the precautions set, to limit the risks, he says: "this is also necessary because of our unique situation as a migrant Church, with faithful moving in and out of the country for professional or personal reasons".
The Vicar also issued special guidelines to be observed in all churches, which take effect from March 6 to April 2, 2020: the faithful with severe colds or other illnesses are invited to stay at home; Holy Communion will be received in the hand; it is recommended that Communion Ministers use hand-sanitizers to clean their hands before distributing Holy Communionin all churches; catechism meetings are suspended and during Mass one must not exchange by touching hands during the Sign of Peace. All groups and various communities are invited to cancel national and international rallies and pilgrimages. (AG-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 9/3/2020)