KENYA: Catholic Churches Remain Open, Bishops say as they Emphasise on Brief Masses

NAIROBI, MARCH 19, 2020 (CISA)-The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has said Catholic churches in the country will remain open, and directed priests to celebrate brief Masses on Sunday, with extra caution on large gatherings.

“Priests are asked to give Christs Faithful the messages of hope and encouragement. These messages touching on the corona-virus must not create panic and anxiety, but rather, should encourage the people to confront the current situation with serenity and courage knowing that we shall overcome the virus with the help of God,” the bishops said in a press statement issued March 19.

The conference also recommended that the diocesan bishops grant temporary exemption from the Sunday obligation for the next three weeks for any faithful who may need it.

“We encourage all Christians, especially those in restriction, to continue benefiting from the spiritual communion or communion desire,” the statement adds urging those impeded from attending Sunday Mass to follow live streaming through Catholic Television and radio stations.

The bishops discouraged face to face confessions recommending use of the confessionals provided with a lined device and preferably use protective masks.

The bishops noted that national, diocesan and parish events have been suspended as recommended by the government and added that the guidelines to apply on funerals, weddings and Way of Cross, which require limiting of participants in order to avoid large crowds.

The bishops called on faithful to continue praying to God to end the pandemic adding that the guidelines provided will be reviewed depending on the progress of the situation.

At the Consolata Shrine, measures have been put in place to ensure weekday and Sunday schedules proceed as normally as possible.

“In order to have enough space, we will be having three people per bench in the church, the rest to stay outside around the church to follow the service through screen and microphone,” reads a communique released by Pastoral Team of Consolata Shrine-Nairobi.

The church will also be sanitized every morning before morning Mass among other measures.