By Nel Andrade
ANTIPOLO CITY – The Diocese of Antipolo is making a clarification that only the simultaneous hearing of confession, or “Kumpisalang Bayan”, was cancelled at the Antipolo Cathedral, and not the regular hearing of confession.
The Catholic faithful in this Pilgrimage Capital of the Country City are being encouraged to go to regular confession also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation especially during the Lenten Season even as the church hierarchy has temporarily cancelled the Kumpisalang Bayan as part of the health measures being imposed amidst the Corona Virus Disease-19 (COVID-19) scare, according to the diocese.
In its recent advisory posted in the social media, the Diocese of Antipolo said the regular confession, which is inside the church with the priest hearing the confession of the person confessing inside the confessional box is still allowed, and has not been cancelled.
The Kumpisalang Bayan, the simultaneous hearing of confession on a face to face set-up with the priest and the individual confessing and seated close to each other, has been temporarily cancelled by the diocese since February 17 as a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Efforts to inform the parishioners that their local parishes have been administering regular confessions in their respective churches even before the cancellation of the Kumpisalang Bayan are ongoing according to the social media page of the diocese.
The diocese also announced that it was abiding by the recent guidelines set by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines for the Lenten Season in order to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Among the preventive measures is the sprinkling of ashes on the crown of the head of the individual instead of marking the forehead of the person with the moist ash in the sign of the cross, during Ash Wednesday.
Also not to be practiced during Lent especially on Good Friday is the traditional kissing and touching of the cross for veneration and instead the faithful is encouraged to genuflect and make profound vow during veneration acts, according to guidelines released to the parishes by the CBCP.
The diocese has also earlier cancelled the Diocesan Lenten Recollection scheduled on March 14, also as part of the prevention of the spread of the virus.