Confession for Catholics must be done in person, not online, even during the pandemic. That's why arrangements are being made to administer the sacrament in Metro Manila while observing COVID-19 protocols, the highest church leader in the capital said.
"Because of the continuing threat of the coronavirus there are still people who are hesitant to come to church, much more to come to confession. But we should not allow fear to dictate on our actions," said the apostolic administrator of the Manila Archdiocese, Bishop Broderick Pabillo.
"It has to be done personally. So I invite all to take time to receive this sacrament in the coming weeks," he said.
Back in May, Pabillo ruled out online confessions in the Archdiocese to "protect the secrecy and sincerity of confession," not to mention the priest and penitent need to have a personal dialogue for the sacrament.
The Archdiocese on Tuesday posted the bishop's instructions to the faithful on confession during the pandemic. Part of it read: "We always have to take necessary precautions, but there are important matters of our life that we have to attend to even with the presence of COVID-19, and confession is one of them."
Parishes will have confession schedules and arrange confessionals that are "hygienically safe" for the priest and penitent. Interested individuals have to make an appointment at the parish office, he said.