THE MASTER of the Order of Preachers urged the faithful to refrain from personal encounters to help prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) around the world.

“We keep our distance not because we see our brother or sister as a potential virus-carrier, or we are afraid of getting sick; but because we want to help break the chain of viral transmission,” said Fr. Gerard Timoner III, O.P. in his letter addressing the Covid-19 outbreak.

He also encouraged the faithful to reflect on the nearness of God amid “social distancing,” and understand the value of spiritual communion amid the suspension of public worship.

Timoner reminded Dominicans of their duty to propagate the Gospel physically before the faithful after temporary separation.

“When this crisis is over, let us not forget the lesson: if we want the Gospel to circulate in our secularized world, the same personal closeness and encounter is necessary,” he said.  

The global pandemic has led to the closure of churches, schools and universities to prevent the rapid spread of the virus.

Italy, where the Master of the Order of Preachers’ seat of power is located, became one the most affected countries next to China.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has also ordered the cancellation of public Eucharistic celebrations.

Priests were advised to celebrate Mass in private. They, however, were encouraged to use social media to reach people.

On March 16, President Rodrigo Duterte placed Luzon under “enhanced community quarantine” as a precautionary measure amid the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country have reached 202 as of this writing.


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