Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of the Ivory Coast in their statement of 17 March on coronavirus protection measures had given the faithful a series of recommendations, such as the ban on gathering more than 50 people, and the suspension of the Via Crucis, pilgrimages and catechesis (see Fides, 18/3/2020). As for the Eucharistic celebrations, the Bishops’ Conference has proposed that each diocese organize them responsibly in accordance with the standards set by the government in fighting COVID-19.
To meet the spiritual needs of the faithful, the Bishops have asked the Catholic media to broadcast Masses and other devotions. Following this recommendation, Radio Nationale Catholique de Côte d’Ivoire (RNC) has made arrangements to allow the faithful to live Mass every day.
"We have established links with some of the priests so that Mass will be broadcast every day at 6.15 am, 12 pm and 6 pm, while Sunday Masses will be broadcast live on Sunday at 7 am, 9 am and 11 am", said Fr. Emile Vangah, Director General of the RNC. The broadcaster will also offer to its users the listening of spiritual devotions, Via Crucis and a novena of prayer.
"In addition to this, we propose a novena prayer that we have called 'Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes for the Health of the Sick' because we think and believe that the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes can help the sick". The novena will be held from April 1st until April 8th.
Also other Catholic media offer Masses to the faithful to continue to nourish their faith.
To limit the spread of the Coronavirus, the Ivorian government adopted 13 measures on March 16; among these, the suspension for a period of 15 days starting from March 16, of the entry into the country of non-Ivorian travelers from countries with over 100 confirmed cases of Coronavirus disease, the closure of all pre-school, primary, junior and secondary education institutions for a period of 30 days, the ban on gatherings of over 50 people. (S.S.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/3/2020)