Catholic Church

Bishop Pabillo: ‘Do not lose the fire’ to attend Mass once possible

Paterno Esmaquel II
Bishop Pabillo: ‘Do not lose the fire’ to attend Mass once possible

MAUNDY THURSDAY. Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, presides over the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday, April 1, 2021, at the Manila Cathedral.

Photo by Angie de SIlva/Rappler

‘Our online Mass is a poor substitute of the real physical participation in the Mass,’ says Bishop Broderick Pabillo on Maundy Thursday 2021

Bishop Broderick Pabillo urged Catholics on Maundy Thursday, April 1, to physically attend Mass once possible, as he said an online Mass “is a poor substitute” to an in-person liturgy that includes holy communion.

In his homily at the Manila Cathedral, Pabillo said that although Catholics resort to online Masses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he hoped Catholics still have the desire in their hearts “to participate physically in the Mass.”

“Our online Mass is a poor substitute of the real physical participation in the Mass. At the moment we are constrained to watch the online Masses, but please do not lose the fire, the desire to be physically present when it is possible, and to really receive the body of Christ into our body,” Pabillo said.

Pabillo, acting head of the Archdiocese of Manila, made this call as religious gatherings remain suspended in Metro Manila after the national government placed it under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest form of lockdown in the country.

Before the capital region was placed under ECQ, Pabillo had pushed back against an earlier ban on religious gatherings under general community quarantine, the second the lowest form of lockdown. 

Part 2 | Religion, the pandemic’s unseen force: Battle for body and soul

Part 2 | Religion, the pandemic’s unseen force: Battle for body and soul

A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Wednesday, March 31, showed that only 41% of Catholics attend religious services every week. This is lower compared to Muslims (94%), Iglesia ni Cristo members (70%), and other Christians (61%).

The same SWS survey showed that 54% of Catholics attended religious services in person over the past 3 months. This was also lower compared to Muslims (99%), Iglesia ni Cristo members (58%), and other Christians (55%).

The SWS survey added that 26% of Catholic respondents, 28% among other Christians, and 13% among INC members  “watched religious services online or on television in the past 3 months.” None of the Muslim respondents joined online or televised religious services. – Rappler.com

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.