Palace warns Archdiocese of Manila not to violate IATF rules
Malacañang warns Archdiocese of Manila vs opening churches
MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque called on Manila Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo to exercise caution and refrain from opening Catholic churches effective tomorrow.
Bishop Pabillo, the Archdiocese of Manila’s apostolic administrator, issued his Pastoral Instruction today informing the faithful of their decision to open churches from tomorrow to until Easter Sunday.
Secretary Roque said the decision to open churches is “contrary to the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).”
“We ask Bishop Pabillo not encourage yung disregard of IATF rule. Ito naman po ay para sa kabutihan ng lahat,” he said during the regular midday press briefing Tuesday.
He added while he is a practicing Christian, it behooves upon him to adhere to government policies in pursuit of public welfare.
Asked if the Archdiocese of Manila pursues it plan to open churches, Secretary Roque said the defiance of the IATF resolution is not covered by the Separation of Church and State.
“What is covered is the freedom to believe and the freedom not to endorse a religion. Pero in the exercise of policed powers we can order the churches closed, huwag sana pong dumating doon, Bishop Pabillo,” he added.
He explained nobody will gain anything if the Archdiocese of Manila defies the resolution and force the state to close the doors of the church.
“There is no violation of the separation between the Church and State. That will be an enforcement of police power to protect the public good,” Secretary Roque concluded. (Melo M. Acuña)
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque. (Screen Grab from Malacanang midday press briefing/March 23,2021/Melo M. Acuna)