Jolo: fear of attacks, masses cancelled for the All Saints and All Souls
Manila (AsiaNews) - Mgr Angelito Lampon, Apostolic Vicar of Jolo, has cancelled masses for the feast of All Saints and All Souls, 1 and 2 November. The decision was taken following an attack at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Caramel, October2 7. The launch of a grenade damaged the building. The prelate explains that this is a "precautionary measure" and the faithful can participate in "moments of common prayer."
In a statement posted on the website of the Philippine Bishops Conference (Cpcp), Msgr. Angelito Lampon confirms the cancellation of the mass originally planned at the cemetery; instead he will lead brief moments of prayer for the dead and bless the graves. The Justice and Peace Commission of the Vicariate of Jolo said the attack on October 27 caused minimal damage to the roof and windows of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Caramel, but there were no injuries nor casualties.
The town of Jolo, the capital of the province of Sulu in southern Philippines, is a majority Muslim area, the scene of attacks and violence in the past. Abu Sayyaf gangs are active in the area, a Filipino Islamic fundamentalist movement linked to terror network al Qaeda.
On July 7, 2009 another attack targeted the cathedral of Mount Caramel: the launch of a grenade caused the deaths of six people, wounding forty others.