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Catholic Church activities suspended in Onitsha archdiocese

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CATHOLIC Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, Most Rev Valerian Okeke has announced the suspension of all public celebration of Holy Mass and other activities with effect from Monday, March 30 until April 19.

   A vicar at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Inland Town Onitsha, Fr. Augustine Muobike, read out the bishop’s message to the lay faithful during Holy Eucharist Mass.

  According to the vicar, in line with Cannon Law, the priority assignment of the Church is saving of lives and salvation of souls.

  Based on this, the church has found it necessary to save the lives of its members rather than engaging them in church activities thereby exposing them to the scourge of Coronavirus.

  “Secondly, the church is bound to obey any given law or order by government that is not against the law of God.”

  He said, since both federal and state governments issued orders for restriction of movement to prevent spread of the virus, “it is necessary that the church abides by them”.

  The priest said that life was more important than church activities considering the effect of the virus on mankind.

  He urged the people to pray from home, trust and hope in God who is omniscient”.

  Meanwhile, Fr. Muobike said priests in all the parishes will continue to say private Holy Mass for the people without the congregation every day.

  According to him, the church is the visible House of God but our body is the temple of God.

  “Trust in God, who alone is above problems. If Jesus can raise Lazarus from death, He will also salvage his people from corona virus.”

  He emphasised the need for them to maintain adequate personal hygiene and environmental sanitation at all times as part of preventive measures against spread of the virus.

  Chief celebrant of the Holy Mass, Fr. Benjamin Okala enjoined the congregation not to be afraid but to adhere to all safety measures to keep safe from the virus and above all, pray ceaselessly that God would deliver the whole world.

  Parish CWO President, Mrs Victoria Molokwu praised the bishop for taking prompt action in controlling the spread among the faithful.

  She prayed that Ndi Anambra and the nation at large would not experience the ravaging virus and that God would forgive sins of the world.

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