By Doro Mapira
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) has expressed displeasure at the manner the new Guidelines have been issued saying they have been taken by surprise. In a statement dated August 9, 2020 which the board has released and Akometsi has seen, ECM says they have been able to comply with the previous rules and they still believe that they have a role to play in this regard.
“We were neither informed nor consulted despite the fact that we have been in the forefront lobbying for COVID-19 compliant behavior,” bemoans the Catholic Bishop’s.
The new Regulations and Rules for the Prevention, Containment and Management of Corona Virus and COVID-19 has among other things restricted Church gatherings effective 8 August 2020. All Public gathering of more than ten persons in open air or in a building have also been banned.
Following this, ECM has suspended all church gatherings until further notice as it will be engaging the government in their role to prevent the further spread of Covid.
“We wish to reiterate that all earlier ECM directives shall remain in force. Christians should pray in their homes every day. On Sundays, the Order of Prayers where there is No Mass should be used. Priests should celebrate Mass daily in their Parish Church or Community chapel in order to pray for the intentions of the people. To compliment this, Catholic media houses should broadcast the Eucharistic celebration which Christians will follow at designated times of the day.”
ECM has also urged it’s clergy to continue to strictly adhere to the preventive measures by washing their hands thoroughly, avoiding physical greeting and contact, observing social distance and use of face masks.