Most Reverend Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, SVD, Catholic Bishop of the Ho Diocese has said all Roman Catholic Churches in the Diocese would remain closed for public worship.
“Our inability to open our churches for public worship also means that we cannot hold funeral Masses and the celebration of the sacraments in our churches. In effect, we shall not have funeral Masses, but only burials, which means committals in the cemetery.”
This is in a statement signed by Bishop Fianu to all priests, religious and lay faithful in the Diocese on the Church’s stance regarding the opening of churches for public worship after an emergency meeting of all Parish Priests, Priests-in-Charge and Parish Pastoral Committee (PPC) Chairpersons.
The meeting was to discuss the preparedness of all parishes in response to the easing of restrictions on public gathering announced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on May 31.
“We had presentations on the relevant section of the address of the President, the guidelines announced by the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs and the guidelines of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference. There was also a presentation on the fumigation and disinfection of churches by an officer from Zoomlion,” the statement said.
Bishop Fianu said, “After an elaborate discussion of all the requisite logistics needed to guarantee the safe opening and operation for public worship, we all agreed that we were not yet ready to open our churches for the celebration of Mass.
“I have therefore decided that we would continue the status quo, that is, the celebration of Mass online and via radio until further notice. We are working on the possibility of also televising our Masses in the diocese”.
The Bishop called on parishes and churches to use the time to prepare the requisite logistics for an “eventual opening” for public worship and added that in an event where a church or parish felt it could provide the requisite logistics needed to guarantee the safe reopening and operation should follow the necessary protocol and obtain permission.
He encouraged all faithful to stand firm “in the faith and organize the reading of the Word of God” and family prayers in their homes.