Live streaming of the Mass will be regulated in the central Philippine diocese of Bacolod effective September 24, according to a decree by its bishop, Patricio Buzon.
The new diocesan policy was issued this week following the government’s recent lifting of the state of public health emergency nationwide due to COVID-19.
“In light of these positive developments, we are informing all parishes, chaplaincies, and private oratories that the live streaming and broadcasting of Masses will be discontinued,” Buzon said.
The decree encourages the able-bodied faithful to actively and physically attend Mass, especially on Sundays, as health protocols are being relaxed.
“Taking part in Mass via communications media, those who hear or view these broadcasts should be aware that, under normal circumstances, they do not fulfill the obligation of attending Mass,” he reminded the faithful citing the document Sacramentum Caritatis.
However, the decree also stated that “for the sake of the sick and the homebound,” the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass at the San Sebastian Cathedral will continue to be live-streamed.
Parishes and chaplaincies are allowed to broadcast their Sunday Masses, but only for those who are sick or have physical limitations that prevent them from being physically present.
The bishop also announced that the act of spiritual communion will no longer be recited aloud during communion for the faithful in attendance.
“Instead, it would be projected on-screen for those joining online,” he added citing a circular of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.