WITH the continued threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday said it would push back the scheduled grand celebration of the quincentenary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
In a report by CBCP News, acting CBCP President Bishop Pablo David announced that the supposed culminating activity set on April 2021 will instead become the launch of a year-long celebration of the Church that will end in April 2022.
“Due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to change the schedule of our celebration of the 500 years of Christianity. It is now going to be a whole year celebration until 2022,” David said.
Among the adjustments is the kick-off date as it will now be on April 17, Easter Sunday, to commemorate the first Mass in the country, particularly at the Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte, which will be supervised by the Diocese of Maasin.
The Church has also decided to move the commemoration of the first baptism to April 14 next year with the event to be spearheaded by the Archdiocese of Cebu.
Originally set in April 2021, the bishops have also agreed to move the International Mission Congress (IMC) and the 2nd National Mission Congress to April 2022.
Lastly, the CBCP said the National Retreat for the Clergy set on August 4 to 6, 2021 has been cancelled, and will be replaced by a series of conferences on the Church’s history in the Philippines.
David also said that respective activities organized by the different commission and offices of the CBCP relative to the quincentennial celebration will also have to be adjusted.
“Each Commission will also have adjustments of their plans due to the crisis that we are going through,” David said.