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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Mexico: Masses cancelled in response to flu outbreak
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Mexico City Cathedral
Church bells in Mexico City have been silenced for the last few days after Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera called for the cancellation of Masses throughout the Archdiocese, in response to the flu outbreak.

An image of 'Our Lord of Health' has been placed near the main altar in Mexico City Cathedral. The image had not been moved from its location in a side chapel since 1691 when the city was affected by a flood and plague.

The Archbishop of Mexico City, along with his Auxiliary Bishops, decided to once again cancel Masses on Sunday in the parishes, rectories, and chapels in the Archdiocese to avoid the spread of the flu.

In a statement issued on 30 April, the Cardinal said that while the Catholic Church celebrates the Easter joy of the Lord's Resurrection, “as Mexicans we are facing one of the hardest sufferings in recent times, as a result of the health alert for the 'flu' that has become a serious threat to the lives of people in our nation and in other countries.” Unfortunately, in spite of the great efforts being made by local and federal authorities, “the spread of the virus has caused a rise in health risks determined by the World Health Organization.” However, the Cardinal said, “the number of victims has not multiplied in great numbers, and this gives us hope.”

He urged people to follow government advice and called on priests of the diocese to look after the sick, be available for Confession, Last Rites, and Holy Communion, and console and comfort families. Priests should be 'bearers of hope, promoting constant trusting prayer, praying intensely for the health of the people'. He also encouraged parish charity services in their work.

Cardinal Rivera said the Mass cancellations were “simply our attempt of preventing the gathering of crowds, to prevent contamination.”

He added that the churches would remain open “so that the faithful can go to pray on a personal basis or as a family,” however avoiding any large gatherings inside. He also mentioned that “although we are hearing news of stability on the health crisis...we should remain on the alert.”

Source: Fides
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Tags: Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, Mexico City, Our Lord of Health

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