08/31/2020, 14.58
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Manila bishop: Frontline workers against COVID-19 are ‘modern day heroes’

Bishop Pabillo celebrated Mass on National Heroes’ Day. During the service, the prelate expressed the Church’s support for and gratitude to doctors and nurses. More than 221,000 cases have been reported in the Philippines so far, with nearly 3,600 deaths. Restrictive measures are likely to be extended.

Manila (AsiaNews/CBCP) – The Archdiocese of Manila on National Heroes’ Day paid tribute to frontline workers – health workers, doctors and nurses – involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila led a Solemn Eucharistic celebration this morning at San Felipe Neri Parish Church in Mandaluyong City. During the service, he expressed support and gratitude on behalf of the Church to the country’s “modern day heroes”.

Recently dubbed the "leprosy of modern times", COVID-19 has affected more than 221,000 people in the Philippines, with nearly 3,600 deaths. Recently, new containment measures have been implemented to prevent further spread.

To this end, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce shortly the extension of restrictive measures, beyond 31 August, including a lockdown in Manila and elsewhere, to “create stability” in the country.

On this occasion, Bishop Pabillo stressed that frontline workers deserve people’s sincerest admiration and gratitude for their sacrifices.

In his view, it is sad that some people “are sinking our nation" in debt, corruption and a lack of effective plans to fight the pandemic.

Many frontline workers who risk their life in the fight against COVID-19 were present at today’s service.

The “heroism of our frontliners is keeping our nation afloat,” Bishop Pabillo said in his homily. For this reason, he urged the faithful to “pray for our modern heroes because of the many trials and challenges that they are going through”.

At the end of the service, those present lit a candle in front of the pictures of people who died from the virus in recent months.

For his part, Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga urged Catholics to remember the many sacrifices made by Filipino migrants abroad.

Santos, deputy chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, noted that Philippine migrants show what is best in Filipinos, including “our strong faith in God and resiliency.”

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