Indonesian Church to livestream services until the end of May after govt extends social distancing measures
A priest leads a Holy Thursday Eucharistic celebration in an empty St. Joseph Church in East Jakarta in this April 9 file photo. (Photo: Katharina R. Lestari/UCA News)
Jakarta Archdiocese has decided to extend its Covid-19 emergency period to May 31 following the extension of government-imposed social restrictions in Indonesia’s capital, where more than one third of confirmed cases in the country have been recorded.
As of April 27, Jakarta had recorded 3,869 out of 9,096 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 367 out of 765 deaths.
“Based on the current situation in Jakarta ... and the extension [of social restrictions], we have decided to extend our Covid-19 emergency period to May 31,” Father Samuel Pangestu, the archdiocese’s vicar general, said in an April 25 statement.
On April 22, the government extended its anti-coronavirus measures of encouraging people to stay at home and limiting gatherings and public transport services for another 28 days
“In light of the government’s move, all church activities which involve the gathering of many people, such as Sunday and daily Masses, will continue to be livestreamed on YouTube channels by parishes or broadcast on television,” Father Pangestu said.
He also asked Catholics to accept the situation “by seeing, feeling and experiencing the love and the glory of the Lord who has risen.”
Divine Word Father Servatius Dange from St. Joseph Parish in East Jakarta, which has been livestreaming Sunday Masses since last month, said the Catholic Church should show solidarity with the nation.
“We shed tears when the nation feels sad, and we rejoice when the nation feels happy. By doing so, we can be the salt of the earth and the light of the world,” he told UCA News.
Ignatius Anton Wirawan from St. Michael Parish in Bekasi, near capital Jakarta, said safety should come first.
“My family and I do desire communion with Jesus Christ in our parish church, but I can understand the current situation,” he told UCA News.
Other dioceses in Indonesia, including Semarang Archdiocese in Central Java province, issued similar statements.
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