Churches, shrines under Manila Archdiocese to suspend services in support of health workers

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The Archdiocese of Manila will not hold any public religious activities in its churches and shrines from August 3 to 14 in response to the medical community's call to revert to stricter quarantine measures, Apostolic Administrator Broderick Pabillo said Saturday. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 2) — The Archdiocese of Manila will not hold any public religious activities in its churches and shrines from August 3 to 14 in response to the medical community's call to revert to stricter quarantine measures, Apostolic Administrator Broderick Pabillo said Saturday.

"We share the compassion of our medical front liners for the many sick people being brought to our hospitals," said Pabillo in a pastoral instruction. "So we support their appeal for a 'time out.'"

However, online activities will still continue, the administrator clarified. The Archdiocese covers churches in Manila City and nearby provinces such as Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Cavite, Bataan, Zambales and Mindoro. 

On Sunday, the Diocese of Cubao said it would suspend public liturgical services in all parishes from August 3 to 14, adding its online services and religious services would continue.

In a statement published on social media, it said, "We will allow our front-liners to breathe, our government to assess and proactively respond to the situation, our Church to evaluate how we can better help our brothers and sisters who are suffering in this situation."

The diocese covers Districts 1 and 4, and some parts of Districts 3 and 4 of Quezon City.

Earlier, health professionals urged the government to declare a two-week-long enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby regions, saying workers are burning out over the surges of COVID-19 cases.

Researchers also forecasted that many hospitals in Metro Manila could become "overwhelmed" in the next two weeks as designated spaces for infected patients continue to get filled up.

Government officials said they have already convened to discuss the medical community's appeal and will submit their recommendation to the President.