Hong Kong, China, Feb 15, 2020 / 14:01 pm
All public Masses in Hong Kong are canceled through Feb. 28 amid the threat of the spreading of coronavirus.
Cardinal John Tong Hon, apostolic administrator and bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, announced Feb. 13 that all public Masses from Feb. 15-28 would be suspended.
The Archdiocese of Singapore has taken a similar step, suspending all public Masses from Feb. 15 until further notice.
Hong Kong is home to around 500,000 Catholics out of a total population of over 7 million, while in Singapore Catholics make up 300,000 of the city-state’s 5.6 million people.
“The Church, being a member of society, has the duty to maintain public hygiene and promote the common good. Therefore, Parish Priests, the other parish clergy and the faithful are to strictly comply,” Tong said, adding that follow-up measures would be announced before Feb. 28.
Tong encouraged the faithful to watch Sunday Mass online, make a spiritual Communion, reflect on the Sunday liturgical text, read the Bible, or say the rosary each Sunday.
He also suggested that the faithful watch ferial Masses online, or make or Lenten devotions or spiritual exercises, such as the rosary, the Angelus, and daily prayer.
“Parish churches and affiliated chapels are to remain open to the faithful for personal prayers and visits to the Blessed Sacrament,” Tong said.