YAMOUSSOUKRO, MAY 19, 2020 (CISA)-The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Côte d’Ivoire (CECCI) on May 15 announced the resumption of public celebrations and pastoral activities in the country.
The declaration comes after the National Security Council lifted restrictions on public gatherings on May 14, measures that have been in effect since March 18 in combating the spread of coronavirus.
“The bishops call on the responsibility of the parish priests and the faithful for a rigorous organization of these celebrations in accordance with the measures in force,” Fr Emmanuel Wohi Nin the Secretary General of CECCI said at a press conference.
Public Masses of 200 as directed by the government commenced on Sunday, May 17 as faithful were required to respect the measure of distancing.
“Wearing a muffler is now compulsory during mass and public liturgical celebrations and hand washing will be done at the entrance to churches,” he said.
Catechesis, meetings of Catholic action groups and movements, meetings of basic ecclesial communities (CEB), the celebration of other sacraments and funerals are also authorized in accordance with the measures listed by the episcopate.
With regard to Catholic preschools, schools and universities which have also been closed since March 18, the bishops invited the various actors to comply with the measures taken by the government.
The bishops congratulate the Catholic faithful and the priests “for their exemplarity in the strict observance of the measures and encourage them to persevere in confidence in the Lord, the only one capable of delivering us from this pandemic.”