The Diocese of Balanga on Saturday said holding online weddings was not necessary amid community quarantine protocols in the country.

Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said in a statement that priests could not, in online weddings, be assured of the couple’s commitment to marriage.

“Church wedding always entails three things: consent, communion and contract… [W]ith online wedding, how can we be sure that the couple is not impeded in their free decision to get married?” he said.

He added that the physical presence of parties was required, as a wedding was not just a presentation that could be watched and done virtually.

“[I]t is a community celebration, with physical presence and active participation,” the bishop said.

He also said the signing of a marriage contract should have the couple, the celebrating priest and sponsors physically present.

Santos pointed out that community quarantine guidelines allowed religious gatherings, so physical church weddings was possible.

Religious gatherings in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) will be allowed up to 10 percent of the seating capacity by July 10, while those in modified GCQ areas are permitted to occupy up to 50 percent of church capacity.

“Finally, as they say, ‘love can wait,’ so we should be patient. We will surely surpass this Covid-19. God, in His perfect time, will give us a cure to this virus. He will heal us,” Santos added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro