MANILA -- Members of the clergy have condemned the shooting incident in a church in the US state of Texas on Monday (Manila time).

Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos said they are offering prayers and Masses to those who perished in the incident.

“That was a tragic, senseless and evil act. Our prayers and holy masses (are) with them, begging our good Lord (to) welcome in His home those who perished and to grant strength (to) those who mourn,” he said. “May all be guided by God to take concrete steps to end violence and reject hatred ideologies.”

The Catholic prelate also urged the people to be wary always and pray for their safety.

“Here, we have to be more vigilant and always take preventive measures (to) be safe, secure. Always pray to God for His protection and be spared from harm. Stay away from and inform authorities of any person or group harboring false and fatalistic ideologies,” Santos added.

On the other hand, Fr. Jerome Secillano, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Public Affairs Committee (CBCP-PAC,) joined the bishop’s call for the public to be very cautious since it would be awkward if church-goers are frisked before they are allowed to enter churches.

“It would be awkward for our parishes to have security forces frisk church-goers like what they do in malls. We just need to be vigilant and pray nothing of that sort happens to us,” he said. “It was an unfortunate incident that we do not wish to happen to anyone.”

At least 26 people died and some 20 others were injured when a man opened fire inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Monday. (PNA)