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Let’s Celebrate Christmas Sensibly

The representative of the Republic for Madeira, Ireneu Barreto, and the Bishop of Funchal, D. Nuno Brás are are of the same opinion in that we need to make sacrifices this Christmas, in terms of social distancing, including those closest to us, so that this and future Christmases will be safe.

This morning, Ireneu Barreto was received by D. Nuno Brás to offer his Christmas greetings and discuss the current pandemic.   On talking to journalists, Ireneu Barreto said that he wanted to impart, through the Bishop of the Diocese of Funchal, his seasons greetings to Madeira’s faithful, saying “I much appreciate the behaviour of the faithful during their periods of worship as we are all in the same boat, in the same difficulty and in the same situation. We must continue to comply with the current restrictions because this Christmas comes at a time of global turmoil. But if we do not appreciate the seriousness of the situation, then there may be no more Christmases to celebrate.” For this reason alone, he asks that everyone acts sensibly over the Christmas period.

Ireneu Barreto also expressed his concern over the increase in positive cases of Covid-19 in Madeira. However, he reiterated that “we must not forget that we are not isolated, as the island has had to open its borders to the world, and welcome people from outside again, in addition to allowing Madeirans who need to travel to do so. Unfortunately, this makes us prone to greater contagions. But, we have to put things in perspective. If we compare our situation to that in Portugal and in the world in general, we can still say that we live in a small paradise. This does not mean that we can afford to relax as any complacency may derail the current situation.”

D. Nuno Brás also reinforced his appeal saying “We need to celebrate not just Christmas but also  January when we can hopefully relax a little. It would not make sense for us to celebrate Christmas effusively and then in January endure further restrictions.  This Christmas we must offer each other the chance of life by respecting each other’s health.”

Concluding, the Bishop of Funchal admitted that arranging this year’s service’s ‘has been difficult’ as the number of people who can attend each service has been reduced to a third, and the usual joy and celebration is likely to be markedly subdued this year.

Samantha Gannon

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