At the beginning of the pandemic, there were five volunteer priests from the Catholic Church to whom the Ministry of Health allowed entry to the Covid areas of hospitals, but nine months into the pandemic, access is completely restricted.

The priests and their pastors had the goal of praying for the sick and anointing them, thus bringing one of the sacraments of the Catholic Church closer.

Currently, Father Jorge Aguayo Carmona, secretary of the archdiocese, points out that the measures are strict, and admission to public hospitals is almost impossible.

“It is more difficult to enter public hospitals than private ones; though there have been more priests to anoint the sick, the Covid area is totally restricted,” he commented.

Due to the advance of the pandemic, it was determined to stop the entry of priests and/or pastors due to the risk of contagion for them, said the priest.

However, considering the care of the sick as one of its duties, as well as anointing and absolution, the Church’s efforts continued.

“We have been taking custody of the consecrated species, since we cannot enter, but we can bring the presence of Jesus and the Eucharist around the hospitals,” he mentioned.

Due to difficult access to hospitals, the Church made the decision to make a daily visit to some of the Covid-19 hospitals to bless and pray.

“There we entrust ourselves to God the Father so that the souls that God was willing to take away that day do not leave without the blessing of our Lord,” said Aguayo Carmona.

Similarly, during the first stage of the Espacio Digital project, from May to August, through online Masses, hospitalized patients were prayed for – those who were at home fighting the virus, those who had already died, and for early victory over the virus, he added.

In the second stage of the Digital Space, after the decision of the health authorities to suspend religious activities in churches, the Catholic Church, through the digital medium, set up Mondays, from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., to pray for the Covid-19 patients.

Father Jorge said that in this timeframe they pray for the other patients, who as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have seen complications to attend to their conditions in public hospitals.

The Secretary of Health, consulted about the spiritual needs of patients with Covid-19, said that for the moment it is best to do it from home, praying for family members, the sick in general, and health personnel, so as not to expose anyone else, especially if you do not have the proper training to enter and exit a Covid area.

The above is a translation of a Dec. 12 story in El Sol de Tijuana.