101 Tijuana churches to reopen Aug. 15 with COVID-19 safety measures in place, bishop says

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Tijuana’s Metropolitan Cathedral as seen from just north of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Tijuana’s Archbishop Francisco Moreno announced 101 churches in his diocese will allow parishioners beginning Aug. 15 with some limitations prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

He said at 10 a.m. on that day, bells will toll all across the city to mark the reopening.

“We’re going to have an opening ritual on the main doors and at 10 o’clock we’ll begin the ritual that will last 10 minutes, then the priest will enter the church followed by the gathered community,” he said.

Tijuana Catholic Archbishop Francisco Moreno. (Courtesy: Tijuana Diocese)

The Catholic Church is asking people not to stream into churches next Saturday since they plan on honoring sanitary restrictions issued by Baja California’s Secretary of Heath.

Moreno says all churches will follow strict guidelines and will thoroughly clean facilities after services and will only allow for 25 percent capacity and ask churchgoers to maintain a safe distance.

Holy water fonts will not be used and the traditional peace offering, where parishioners shake hands, will not be used.

“We’ll incline our heads as a gesture,” Moreno said.

Since the pandemic began, 23 priests in Tijuana have tested positive for the virus including five who are currently seeking medical treatment. One died, according to Moreno.

The bishop said his diocese will continue broadcasting masses over social media networks such as Facebook Live and YouTube.

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