DESPITE the continued easing of community quarantines, seminarians will not be going back to seminaries under the Diocese of Novaliches just yet.
In a radio interview, Novaliches Bishop Roberto Gaa said he is not yet allowing the return of seminarians to seminaries under his jurisdiction due to the lingering threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
"It is I who decided not to allow them back just yet. We can wait for a year as we are not in a hurry," said Gaa over Church-run Radio Veritas.
"What is more important now is to live. Therefore, everyone will remain on distant learning in their own homes," he added.
The prelate cited the continuous threat posed by Covid-19 as the sole reason for delaying the return of seminarians.
"The risk is too high since we cannot control the virus yet. What if someone gets infected and becomes critical? Because of the intense engagement, the risk is really very high," he said.
"I cannot accept the fact that I will put even one life at risk. I am not willing to put anybody at risk," added Gaa.
By its estimates, the Diocese of Novaliches has a current roster of 50 diocesan seminarians.
Earlier, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission for Seminaries already issued guidelines for seminary formation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the said guidelines, the diocesan bishop enjoys autonomy and full jurisdiction over seminary formation. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)