The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev (Dr.) Alfred Adewale Martins has reiterated the need for the gradual easing of the lockdown placed on Churches by the Federal Government stressing that the Church was capable of ensuring and enforcing personal hygiene and physical distancing amongst its members. Speaking at a recent press conference to mark this year’s World Day of Communications held at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos, the prelate said the continuous closure of Churches was negatively affecting the spiritual and emotional well-being of Christians who crave for their regular communal worship.
While appreciating the importance of strict compliance to the health guidelines as laid down by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the Archbishop said the Church was very ready to ensure that the opening of places of worship would not denigrate government’s effort at curbing the spread of coronavirus. Hear him, “The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN have been engaging with government with regards to the lockdown.
We believe that social distancing, or rather, physical distancing is very important. We are also looking at the possibility of people being allowed to worship God safely.” He said that in determining the level of physical distancing that should be allowed in a Church, the size of the Church should be a major factor”. “If a Church can ordinarily contain about one thousand people, for instance, and a distance of about two meters in-between is ensured, that should help to determine how people many can worship at any point in time.” Archbishop Martins also assured that pastors of Churches (Catholic) are responsible enough to be able to determine what will keep them and their flock safe from contracting the virus. It would be recalled that the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu recently revealed that discussion was on-going with religious leaders in the state in order to factor in the possibility of opening places of worship which have been under lock and key since the past two months.