Catholic church suspends services

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THE Roman Catholic Church has suspended all services and programmes to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
In a statement by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) yesterday, the church encourages its members to stay at home and pray.

“In response to the coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change in order to keep each other safe and save lives.

“This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith, as explained in our statement of 17 March, 2020.
“We have, therefore, further resolved as a conference to close all Catholic churches for public liturgical services and church related gatherings with immediate effect on this 24th day of March 2020, until further notice to allow for effective self-isolation for all.

“This will mean all of us will have to stay and pray at home, including sharing the sacred scriptures and saying the rosary individually and as a family.

“Our obedience in this time of crisis is an act of charity.”
The church added that priests can pray for people who are sick over the phone.

“When anointing the sick, the oil of the sick can be applied using a cotton bud which can be burned afterwards (one end for the head and the other for the hands) and the priest extends his hands over the sick person for laying on of hands, without physical contact.

“Some cases of coronavirus have now been reported in Zimbabwe.

“No pastoral visits should be made to people who are self-isolating until the isolation ends. However, do offer phone support.

“There will be deaths. Let us leave burials to close family members and associates, even for clergy and religious, in this season of the pandemic, which we pray will be short,” said the statement.

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