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Macau’s bishop ask Catholics to cooperate with the government to fight the coronavirus

The Bishop of Macau Stephen Lee Bun-sang asked on Sunday that local Catholics actively carry out the preventive measures that have been placed in full cooperation with the government.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

The Bishop of Macau Stephen Lee Bun-sang asked on Sunday that local Catholics actively carry out the preventive measures that have been placed in full cooperation with the government to fight the coronavirus epidemic in the territory.

In a pastoral letter to more than 30,000 Catholics in Macau, Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang said that residents “should support all our government departments and voluntary agencies, especially the medical staff and personnel working on the frontline to contain the spread of the epidemic and express our gratitude, appreciation, and encouragement towards the medical professionals for their spirit of sacrifice by whatever means we are able.”

“As the current epidemic is still developing, there seems to be a shortage of day-to-day medical and sanitising supplies in the market, and we have also heard of some instances where people have become aggressive and agitated when buying masks, sanitisers, and even food. There can be an atmosphere of conflict, impatience, discontent, and frustration. I totally understand these feelings, but at the same time I urge people to remain calm and be patient,” he said.

Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang said that Catholics “know that all the government departments have sought to respond promptly to the epidemic, working tirelessly throughout the Lunar New Year holidays. Nevertheless, as the virus outbreak spread at such a rapid rate, there are bound to be some aspects of the response that fall short of the ideal when it comes to handling the crisis, and we strongly believe that things are on the mend.”

“We should support all our government departments and voluntary agencies, especially the medical staff and personnel working on the frontline to contain the spread of the epidemic. We should also express our gratitude, appreciation, and encouragement towards the medical professionals for their spirit of sacrifice by whatever means we are able. I would also ask you not to pass around counter-productive or downright baseless messages about the epidemic so as to avoid unnecessary panic among our fellow citizens,” he said.

The head of the Diocese of Macau asked the local congregation to “exercise self-discipline, avoid foreign travel and group activities. Let us make good use of our time at home to grow closer to our family members by listening and talking more to each other. Students also need to be self-disciplined, cultivating a studious attitude of learning and reading. The faithful are encouraged to read the Bible and other spiritual texts, avoid leading a sort of listless life at home.”

Bishop Stephen Lee ends the message inviting all Catholics to pray to St. Roque (St. Roch) to help Macau and the local community to be spared from all sickness and contagion.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:45 am

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