AMERICA/PERU - Reopening of the churches from November 2: the Bishops recall that Mass "is not a simple meeting"

Wednesday, 28 October 2020 coronavirus   human rights   episcopal conferences   mass   sacraments  


Lima (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of Peru informed the national community about the "gradual opening of churches to gradually return to the normality of liturgical and sacramental life" in November. After 7 months of closure, the Bishops remind the authorities that "they must understand that the Eucharist, even on Sunday, cannot be catalogued as a simple meeting, nor compared to other social, commercial or recreational activities".
"In reality, all the sacraments, like other acts of liturgy and piety, are part of worship and religious freedom, a fundamental human right guaranteed by article 2 of the political constitution of our nation ... It would therefore not be reasonable to impose restrictions on the latter or demand even greater constraints in relation to other aforementioned activities", underlines the text of the Bishops' Conference.
The declaration of the Bishops follows the government decree authorizing the reopening of the churches as of November 2, knowing however that the latter will only be able to accommodate a third of the faithful and with strict security protocols. The Bishops' text states: "For these reasons, each Bishop has the power, within his own particular Church, to determine from November 2 next - date indicated in the Supreme Decree 170-2020 PCM - the start of the daily and Sunday celebration of Mass and the other Sacraments, guaranteeing not only the respect of liturgical norms, but also the faithful observance of the protocol relating to the activities of the Church in times of pandemic approved by the Episcopal Conference of Peru".
Finally, the Bishops' Conference emphasizes that "if there is any institution which always and at all times deals with the integral good of the human person, it is indeed the Catholic Church. She thus assisted throughout this pandemic through her effective action and spiritual care for the benefit of the infected and their families, multiplying the works of charity, social assistance, and by distributing medical oxygen in particular to the weakest". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 28/10/2020)