Masses Suspended in Hong Kong Amid Coronavirus Epidemic

Tags: Currents Ash Wednesday, Asia, Asian Catholics, China, Coronavirus, Faith, Media, Pope Francis, World News

By Melissa Butz

Seated and wearing a mask, Cardinal John Tong Hon suspended Masses in Hong Kong until Feb. 28. He asked Catholics to follow them online, including during Ash Wednesday. 

The only exceptions for Mass will be weddings that were already scheduled, and funerals. This precautionary measure has been taken in response to the coronavirus epidemic. 

“At this difficult time, everyone should not panic,” said Cardinal Tong.  “We must deepen our trust in God and implement our Christian love for our neighbors and all people.”

During Feb. 12’s General Audience, Pope Francis asked for prayers for the citizens of China, saying, “Let us also pray for our Chinese brothers and sisters who suffer from this illness, so cruel. May they find the path to healing as quickly as possible.”

In the midst of the outbreak, the World Health Organization convened a research forum to mobilize international action in response to the coronavirus that has so far infected more than 60,000 people and has claimed more than 1,100 lives.