Bishop Roberto Gaa of Novaliches has called on authorities to act on the mental and spiritual health needs of the people during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The prelate said the public needs mental and spiritual nourishment that should be considered as “essentials,” like food and medicine.
Bishop Gaa, however, said these needs “are not listed as essentials” in the implementation of the “enhanced community quarantine.”
He said that providing the public with services that address their mental and spiritual needs will strengthen their will to overcome anxieties.
He called on church workers to establish programs that will provide mental and spiritual nourishment to the faithful.
Since the implementation of strict home quarantine in March, the church leaders in the Philippines used radio, television, and the internet to broadcast religious activities.
Bishop Gaa called on television networks to broadcast Holy Masses in free channels for those who have no access to the internet.
The prelate said the Church is “hurt” because it cannot fully perform its duties to the faithful due to the lockdown.
“The Church is very tactile, very touchy. Now, you have to avoid all of that. As a priest, you cannot feel the fullness because you cannot see the people who attend your online Mass,” he said.
Last week, authorities announced the extension of the “enhanced community quarantine” in areas with a high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, including the capital Manila.