S’pore Catholic Archbishop Suspends Public Masses Indefinitely, Says Everyone Must Be Socially Responsible


Unless you’re a baby who’s still discovering the wonders of the world, you’ve probably been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Cancelled vacations, financial losses, and losing loved ones to the disease; the coronavirus has pervaded every part of our lives.

Now, we might even have to stop attending religious services.

Catholic Masses Will Be Suspended Indefinitely

The Archbishop of Singapore William Goh has rescinded his order last week to resume Catholic masses on Saturday (14 March), saying that all public masses for Catholics will remain suspended until the Covid-19 situation is “much improved and more stabilised.”

In a letter posted on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore’s website, Archbishop Goh said: “I have to act responsibly not just for the sake of our Catholics but the community at large”.

Masses were initially suspended on 15 Feb and were supposed to resume on Saturday (14 March).

However, Archbishop Goh decided to rescind his order after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic.

“When I made the announcement to lift the suspension last Thursday, it was in the context of a stabilised situation… We are not helping the situation if we resume masses at this time,” said the Archbishop.

As you know, many religious services, including Catholic masses, involve large congregations of people seated close together. And, as the Archbishop says, many of these people are vulnerable to the disease – ” seniors with lower immunity.”

“As responsible Catholics, we should be mindful that we do not do anything that might further burden the already strained healthcare system,” Archbishop Goh added.

There will be masses and prayer services that Catholics can participate in online, however.

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Mosques closed for five days

As a preventive measure to curb the spread of Covid-19, all 70 mosques in Singapore will also be closed for five days for cleaning from Friday (13 Mar), and no congregational prayers will be held on that day.

This move comes after the infection of two Singaporeans who attended a mass religious gathering in Selangor, Malaysia.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said on Thursday (12 Mar) that this temporary closure was initiated to prevent a sizeable cluster of Covid-19 cases from emerging.

New measures

These closures may seem drastic, but they are part of Singapore’s new approach to combating the Covid-19 disease.

As Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said, Singapore has to shift its approach towards containing Covid-19 within the country, as the virus spreads worldwide and border controls become less relevant and effective in the future.


This includes enforcing social distancing measures for public events, community activities, schools, workplaces, and religious services.

Singapore already has other social distancing measures like isolating patients, putting close contacts on quarantine and issuing Stay-Home Notices, Minister Wong said.

Things might seem like they’re getting worse, but these are just precautionary measures to prevent the situation from getting worse.

Prevention is better than cure, right?