D. STEPHEN LEE WILL HOST A GENERAL MEETING WITH THE LOCAL CLERGY – Diocese to decide about the Easter celebrations today

– Marco Carvalho

The Diocese of Macau will decide this Friday how will the Easter Triduum be celebrated in the Special Administrative Region. Bishop Stephen Lee will discuss the matter with the local clergy today in a plenary session, the Chancellor of the Diocese, father Cyril Law, told O Clarim.

The celebrations of the most important time of the liturgical calendar – the Easter Triduum – are shrouded in uncertainty due to the escalation of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the week, the number of infection cases diagnosed in Macau has almost doubled, forcing the Government, the population and the local population to exercise extra caution.

Bishop Stephen Lee will meet this Friday with the local clergy with the purpose of deciding whether the churches will keep their doors open for the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection or it the use of the Internet and other technologies will continue fo guide the way the local Catholics live their faith: “Decision will be made after a plenary meeting on Friday. Hopefully we will have some news as soon as possible,” the chancellor of the Diocese of Maca told O Clarim.

The information is reaffirmed by Father Daniel Ribeiro. The parish Vicar of the Cathedral Church admits there is a strong possibility that the celebrations of the Easter Triduum may have to be conducted behind closed doors: “We are going to have a meeting. The local priests and the Bishop will meet on Friday to define what will happen in Macau. It is very likely that the celebrations will be held behind closed doors and transmitted via the Internet, the Brazilian priest admits. “If it happens, it will be a big loss for the local Catholic community. Easter is the central moment of a Christian’s faith. Adult people are baptized in Easter and through Baptism they become Christians. It is a very big loss ,” Father Ribeiro reaffirms.

The Diocese of Macau announced, at the beginning of the current month, the intention to progressively the churches, following almost a month of closure.

Religious services were resumed during the week, but the Sunday Eucharist is still being conducted behind closed doors, without the presence of the faithful. In Daniel Ribeiro’s opinion, the exceptional times that we are living require not only vigilance, but also a responsible attitude by both the population and the local institutions.The Church should not be an exception: “Easter is the most important moment for Catholics worldwide. It is the main feast in the celebration of our liturgical calendar. But the Church, like all other institutions, needs to collaborate in such a painful moment,” the Vicar claims. “Although the Church aspires to open its doors and to remain open and to celebrate with the faithful, the Church will always follow the local Government guidelines. It is very likely that these celebrations will not take place,” the young Brazilian priest claims.

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