MANILA, Philippines – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), upon the order of its president Archbishop Romulo Valles, issued an oratio imperata or obligatory prayer against the 2019 novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV.
In a circular released Wednesday, January 29, the CBCP called on its parishes to pray the oratio in “all weekday and Sunday masses, after the Holy Communion, kneeling down” beginning Sunday, February 2. (READ: ’Novel coronavirus’ or 2019 nCoV: What we know so far)
The CBCP also included in its circular Department of Health (DOH) advisories on the 2019-nCoV, saying, “Let it be our pastoral duty to remind our faithful to heed the health recommendations of medical experts and officials so that we prevent the acquisition and spread of the disease.”
They also called on parishes to observe the following:
- Practice the communion in hand to help prevent further fear from people who are reasonably cautious of the matter.
- Change holy water regularly.
- Install protective cloths on the grills of confessionals.
- Discourage holding of hands during “Our Father” and shaking of hands during the Sign of Peace.
The circular comes amid fears the 2019-nCoV, which has sickened over 6,000 in China and other countries, and killed 132 in China, mostly in the epicenter Wuhan, will also spread in the Philippines.
The DOH on Wednesday, January 29, said they have yet to confirm a case of the virus in the Philippines. They are, however, closely monitoring 27 people who have shown signs of respiratory illness, one of the criteria used to screen people who might have the disease.
So far, 23 of these 27 are still isolated in hospitals across the country. Four of the 27, meanwhile, have already been discharged from the hospital and are in constant coordination with the DOH for updates on their condition.
The health department also said one of the 27 people under investigation has died, although it was confirmed that the deceased patient had had “various symptoms” of disease and tested positive for HIV upon admission to the hospital.
Health Secretary Franciso Duque III continued to remind people to practice proper hygiene and constant washing of hands, and proper coughing etiquette or coughing into the crook of the elbow, amid the virus scare. He also reassured the public that DOH hospitals, with their respective isolation areas, were ready to respond to the disease, should it reach the Philippines.
Below is the full text of the oratio imperata issued by the CBCP:
God our Father,
We come to you in our need
To ask your protection against the 2019 N-Corona Virus,
That has claimed lives
And has affected many.
We pray for your grace
For the people tasked with studying the nature and cause
Of this virus and its disease
And of stemming the tide of its transmission.
Guide the hands and minds of medical experts
That they may minister to the sick
With competence and compassion,
And of those governments and private agencies
That must find cure and solution to this epidemic.
We pray for those afflicted
May they be restored to health soon.
Grant us the grace
To work for the good of all
And to help those in need.
Grant this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God forever and ever. Amen.
Mary Help of all Christians, pray for us.
St. Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
St. Rock, pray for us.
St. Lorenzo Ruiz, pray for us.
St. Pedro Calungsod, pray for us.