AMERICA/MEXICO - Church and coronavirus pandemic: "We need the creative courage of St. Joseph"

Monday, 15 February 2021 coronavirus   local churches  


Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) - According to the Mexican Catholic Multimedia Center (CCM), from the first case in April 2020 to January 2021, a total of 172 priests, 5 bishops, 10 deacons and 7 religious died in the country as a result of Covid-19 disease.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, January 2021 has been the month with the most corona deaths for priests and religious of the Catholic Church in Mexico. On average one priest died every day and the number of infections among Catholic bishops rose steadily. Between January 1 and January 31, 2021, 37 priests, an auxiliary bishop, 2 nuns and 2 deacons died from the virus. Last year, the worst month was July, with 24 deaths recorded. From April to December there was an average of 12.5 deaths per month.
The hardest hit archdioceses are Mexico and Puebla with 15 and 16 infections respectively. Infections were registered in a total of 61 percent of the dioceses and archdioceses. In addition to the five bishops who died of Covid-19, 23 other bishops and archbishops and a cardinal were infected.
The Mexican Bishops' Conference repeatedly called for caution and strict adherence to the security protocols (see Fides, 3/4/2020). Just two days ago, the secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Vocations and Priests said: "After almost a year of living in this storm, I find that the health protocols for prevention are always the same! And then what happened? Why is the number of infections when I celebrated the last Mass in the presence of the faithful in the Parish, on March 14, 2020, was 24 confirmed cases and that now that I celebrate Mass in front of a smartphone, the cases have increased to 1,946.751, including 168,432 dead?", asks Father Octavio Pérez Ramírez.
"Misinformation, or rather, the flood of information without criteria, has led us to irresponsibility. I know perfectly well that this is not the only cause, there has also been mismanagement at a government level.
"Now is not the time to make assumptions about whether the virus is a political and economic ploy but rather to have the sensitivity of the Good Samaritan, to sympathize with those who are suffering and to avoid missing out on the needs of the wounded. This is the time to put into practice the creative courage that Saint Joseph teaches us ... It is not just a matter of understanding, but of knowing and being a shepherd to do what Jesus asks of his Church at this moment, which is so important for the world, so that we may accompany in a special way those who are suffering from the consequences and devastation of the pandemic. We must develop the ability to deal with a problem in an opportunity to transform", concludes father Octavio Pérez Ramírez. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 15/2/2021)