Becoming a People of Greater Hospitality: Catholic Practices in Pandemic-Striken Philippines

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Unlike some religious traditions elsewhere, Philippine Catholicism readily recognized the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic as described by medical science and public health protocols. Given this general perspective, it promoted communal worship online and inclusive feeding programs – practices integral to Catholicism and rooted in the local religious ethos. The defining characteristics of these practices during the pandemic invite critical inquiry on its theological foundations. The first provides greater accessibility to the ekklesia and interrogates therefore the traditional notion of Catholic belonging and identity. The second exemplifies a more inclusive framework for social ministry on account of the wide diversity of roles among those involved and its integration of charitable services with structural change. Thus both practices challenge Philippine Catholicism to become a people of greater hospitality.