Ecumenical church groups in the Philippines have appealed for prayers for the recovery of Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez who was reported to have acquired the new coronavirus disease.
The retired prelate of Kalookan, who was brought to a hospital in the capital, was diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive of COVID-19.
Anglican Bishop Rex Reyes of the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) urged the faithful to “pray for Bishop Iñiguez and for those who are similarly situated.”
The prelate also appealed for prayers for healthcare workers who minister to the needs of patients.
“Those who met Bishop Iñiguez know of a gentle soul. He is a beacon in the ecumenical movement, leading the EBF for the last 25 years and still going strong,” said Bishop Reyes.
Bishop Iñiguez, now 79 years old, is Bishop Reyes’ co-chairperson in the ecumenical group.
The Catholic prelate is also head of the secretariat of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform, a network of Catholic, Protestant, and Evangelical church leaders.
Ofelia Cantor of PEPP said Bishop Iñiguez “has been working tirelessly to promote the resumption of the peace talks” amid the global health crisis.
“He always believes that lobbying for a just and lasting peace would help the country combat the impacts of the pandemic and the looming economic breakdown,” she said.
Cantor said they are hoping for the immediate recovery of the prelate “who plays a huge role in the peace and peace-building community.”
The National Shrine and Parish of the Divine Mercy in the Diocese of Malolos, where Bishop Iniguez currently resides, also called on devotees to “ask the mercy of God” for the prelate.
In a statement, administrators of the shrine said Bishop Iñiguez is now in “stable condition.”
All services at the Shrine are temporarily suspended “until all priests and personnel in the rectory are tested.”
“We assured the public that we are doing all the necessary health protocols to stop the spread of the virus,” the statement read.