The Holy week liturgies will not be disrupted by the lockdown, said Bishop of Paphos Yeorgios, in a departure from the third lockdown directives issued yesterday by the Health Ministry, affecting church attendance.
‘As the Archbishop said, the governments’ decision to impose further restrictions on Holy Week does not affect us, as we adhere to all protective measures inside the church. Therefore services will go on as normal’, said Bishop of Paphos.
No one will be sent away, he added, clarifying that masks and keeping distances will be obligatory.
In Paphos, services will start earlier, so that people can be home by nine, before the lockdown takes effect, while the resurrection mass will finish by one in the evening in accordance with the governments’ directives.
‘Even if we ran a bit late, the faithful will not be escaping somewhere else, but going straight home’, he said.
According to the bishop, people feel that this decision has been predetermined.
‘Why have these measures been announced just a couple of days before Holy Week’, he wondered.
According to the directive, 50 people are allowed inside churches during Holy Week with a certificate of a first vaccination.
This, he said, does not affect the church, is it’s open to everyone, irrespective of age.
Bishop of Constantia-Famagusta Vasileios said that the church does realise how critical times are, but prohibiting people from attending, he added, is a decision that has not been thought out.
He further wondered whether epidemiologists do not believe in vaccinations, as those vaccinated can attend, even next to each other.
Bishops are calling on the government and experts to review the situation, with Vasileios saying that things are very tense as they are and people cannot be stopped from attending.