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Roman Catholic Bishop appeals to Guyanese to get vaccinated

Last Updated on Wednesday, 8 September 2021, 21:30 by Denis Chabrol

The Roman Catholic Church’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Even as Roman Catholic Bishop of Guyana, Francis Alleyne announced that churches in Guyana would be closing their doors “indefinitely”, he sounded a call for Guyanese to take COVID vaccine because there is solid proof that a jab would work to stem the spread of the disease and people falling seriously sick.

He said the official teaching of the Catholic Church is for everyone to take a COVID vaccine and remain vigilant.

“I therefore give the strongest encouragement to our brothers and sisters who have still not been vaccinated to please reconsider your decision. I am calling on you to act in the interest of the common good and to do your part in safeguarding the well-being of all,” he said.

Bishop Alleyne said that not all churchgoers could show proof that they have been vaccinated or a negative PCR test, and so they “will not be allowed entry into churches” in  keeping with the latest COVID-19 regulations that govern access to public buildings. In that regard, he said the Roman Catholic Church has decided to close the doors altogether and rely on virtual services only.

“We ought not to leave part of the body detached from the whole. Therefore, in solidarity with these brothers and sisters, and beginning on Friday 10th September, we will conduct all our worship virtually and refrain from gathering in any number. Our churches will be closed for public worship until further notice,” he said.

Bishop Alleyne said the severe threat of the pandemic and the increasing numbers of infections and deaths
warrants strong measures and “this asks of us, not only that we comply with reliable scientific guidance but out of our Christian conviction, to go beyond the call and act in favour of the common good to the extent that it is necessary and involves sacrifice.

The Roman Catholic Bishop commended Catholics for being vigilant in observing the precautions against the
pandemic – masks, sanitizing, distancing – but he cautioned that the pandemic was getting worse in Guyana. “But now the threat has become more intense and we have to ask ourselves “what more must we do?” He said the the term “Herd immunity” has been presented to us as when a high percentage of the population, say 80%,  has been vaccinated it becomes extremely difficult for the virus to spread. “The science is sound on this and worthy of our trust.