DESPITE the surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, Novaliches Bishop Roberto Gaa believes that imposing lockdown in churches should only be seen as a last resort.

In its Diocesan Covid-19 Pandemic Policies and Guidance, Gaa said imposing lockdowns is not always the best idea whenever Covid-19 cases rise in the country.

"While lockdowns have evidently become the national government's way of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in times when it goes out of control, it appears, however, that it is not always the best idea. More so when it comes to church lockdowns," said Gaa.

"Church lockdowns must only be the last resort, therefore. When people have nowhere else to go and no one else to turn to, there is the Church, always ready to welcome and give them relief and comfort," he added.

The prelate said this is because imposing church lockdowns take heavy toll on the life and well-being of the faithful.

He said lockdown on churches inflict far more serious damage on people's psyche and to other areas of their life.

"As for the Church, lockdowns do unwittingly mete out injury to our spiritual-sacramental sense and sensibility as Church, more so if this is done voluntarily or out of its own initiative from within," said Gaa.

"To many of those outside its decision-making process, it is as if the Church, which is supposed to be their only hope and bastion of courage and strength, a citadel of serenity and peace in times of crisis such as this, has gone on panic mode and chosen to lock itself down," added the bishop.

Given this principle, Gaa assured that the Diocese of Novaliches will not be imposing a widespread lockdown.

"Unless asked or ordered by the government, no general diocesan lockdown should henceforth be expected," he said.

Instead, he said placing parish churches on lockdown will be the responsibility of parish pastors and administrators.

"Parish pastors and administrators are presumed to know and understand their parish situations, at this time of heightened restrictions, better than anyone else in the diocesan administration," said Gaa. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)