BY CARLA P. GOMEZ
Bacolod Bishop Patricio Buzon is calling on the faithful to end discrimination against those infected with COVID-19 and healthcare workers, who are being treated like “modern day lepers”.
The bishop issued the call as Negros Occidental and Bacolod City local governments began flying the Philippine flag at half-mast yesterday in honor of fallen healthcare workers and frontliners hit by COVID-19.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said he has ordered that flags at the Government Center, Old City Hall, and Public Plaza be flown at half-staff starting yesterday until August 31. The flag also flew at half-mast at the provincial Capitol in Bacolod City.
Buzon called on the faithful of the diocese to pray for the country’s healing and for the frontliners after the recent spike in the number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental.
In a homily Sunday, Buzon also expressed his disappointment at the prevalence of discrimination in the world.
“All over the world, people are discriminated against because of color, culture, belief, religion, and all kinds of differences,” he said.
The bishop cited several incidents of discrimination against COVID-19 patients and health workers in the Philippines, and even locally. They are like “modern lepers” whom everyone avoids, he said.
The bishop reminded the faithful of the fundamental truth of the universality of salvation.
“We are all God’s children, redeemed by the blood of Christ. This makes each and every one of us precious in the eyes of God and valuable in each other’s eyes,” the bishop said.
The bishop earlier issued a circular for all masses last Sunday to be celebrated for the solemnity of Saint Roch, whose intercessions are called in times of plague and pestilence.*