Joseph Peter Calleja, Manila
Updated: September 20, 2021 10:17 AM GMT
Cardinal Jose Advincula kneels during his installation ceremony as Manila's archbishop on June 24. (Photo: AFP)
At least two Catholic bishops in the Philippines have contracted the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated.
Manila archbishop Cardinal Jose Advincula and Bishop Jose Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos Diocese in Negros Occidental province canceled all Masses and public engagements because they were in quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19.
Reports say they had received the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine.
Cardinal Advincula has had a slight fever but is in “good shape,” according to Manila Archdiocese.
The bishops’ conference has asked for prayers from churchgoers and bishops.
“I ask my brother bishops to please include in all our daily Mass intentions the full recovery of our dear cardinal,” said Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the bishops’ conference, in a letter on Sept. 18.
We extend our prayers of fast recovery, complete healing and good health to Cardinal Advincula
Archbishop Valles has assured Cardinal Advincula of the “closeness” of his brother bishops and the Catholic faithful in the Philippines.
“We extend our prayers of fast recovery, complete healing and good health to Cardinal Advincula. We assure him of our closeness with him and with our love, support and prayers,” he added.
“We also entreat the faithful to pray for the good cardinal so that he can resume his important ministry in the Archdiocese of Manila and the universal Church.”
Before the Sept. 18 announcement, Cardinal Advincula had celebrated Mass in honor of medical frontliners who died from Covid-19.
He called them “modern-day heroes” for taking care of the sick and dying while risking their own safety.
“Like the Blessed Mother, God chose you to do an important mission, God chose you to be his instruments. That’s why in this battle against Covid-19, you are the heroes,” Cardinal Advincula said in his homily.
Meanwhile, Bishop Alminaza has contracted the virus for a second time despite being fully inoculated.
The bishop is asymptomatic but is required to isolate himself for the time being, said Father Marjun Almario, chancellor of San Carlos Diocese.
This is not the first time that Filipino clergymen vaccinated with Sinovac have been infected by the virus
Father Almario advised those who had contact with Bishop Alminaza to isolate themselves and to report to health authorities.
This is not the first time that Filipino clergymen vaccinated with Sinovac have been infected by the virus.
“Having been fully vaccinated and diligently following health protocols, Covid-19 has not escaped me,” said Bishop Jaucian in a press conference.
In July, Father Manuel Jadraque of Caloocan Diocese died of a heart attack and was later found to have Covid-19.
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