With the approval of their Bishop, the priests sent a letter asking for celebrations with up to 50% of the capacity of the temples.
Newsdesk (August 30, 2020, Gaudium Press) — Bishops from all over South America are demanding from the governments that masses with the faithful be authorized. The same applies to Argentina, specifically in Bariloche.
The priests of Bariloche, in agreement with their bishop, have addressed a letter to Governor Arabela Carreras, claiming the return of the masses with the faithful in his jurisdiction. The letter is signed by Bishop Juan José Chaparro and 16 priests.
The letter starts by recalling how solicitous they have been in the fulfillment of the norms due to the pandemic. After reaffirming that the Church has assisted through the agency Cáritas to the neediest during this crisis, the priests of Bariloche express that “in diverse occasions, we have dialogued with the mayor of San Carlos de Bariloche about our concern for the social reality, and at the same time we have presented a Protocol to be able to reestablish our religious celebrations with a gradual opening to the participation of the faithful. Our bishop has also done the same for you.”
The faithful are requesting the return of the masses
“Every day more and more of the faithful reclaim their need to participate in worship, as well as the performance of baptismal and marriage ceremonies, suspended for more than five months, which are part of the basic spiritual needs of believers. We also believe that spiritual containment is an essential part of the lives of the people who attend our church.
“For more than a month, we have seen with astonishment how bars and restaurants ( indoor places smaller than most of our temples) were allowed to open allowing the admission up to 50% of their capacity; conversely, we have not received from the authorities any response to our demands. Likewise, we do not see why there are no limits to social action through Cáritas in our parishes (in which a large number of people participate) and there is the impossibility of freely exercising our religious activities,” they say.
An atmosphere of religious discrimination
The clergy of Bariloche denounces the lack of answers to their requests, and alert on a rising climate of religious discrimination: “For this reason, we feel that, at this point, the prohibition that weighs on our activities corresponds more to religious discrimination, than to objective reasons; and if this is not the case, we request that a clear and objective explanation be given.” The petition is also taking into account that in many provinces masses with attendants have already been approved.
“We have the protocols and the means necessary to be able to take care of us; they have already been authorized. For these reasons, we want to present our explicit request to start our celebrations with the participation of the faithful up to 50% of the capacity of our temples from the first days of September “, they demanded.
With information from Aica