Infected Priest Administers Communion – How do we Protect Flock? [OPINION]
A Washington, DC-area priest has been diagnosed with the coronavirus and officials are urging anyone at those Masses to self-quarantine. According to DeadState, the priest shook hands with and handed out Communion to many of the 550 people in attendance at those 3 Masses.
The Diocese of Lafayette recently released a statement about the coronavirus and the steps they are taking to help protect its flock, including suspending/altering events that could help spread the virus.
A wave or a elbow-bump should replace the traditional handshake or hug given during the "Sign of Peace"; sharing Communion wine has been suspended, and the Diocese is encouraging anyone who isn't feeling well to skip Mass.
When it comes to administering the Eucharist, the direct-to-mouth method has been suspended. But is that enough?
I spoke to some co-workers and asked if their church had implemented any policies or changed procedures due to the outbreak. One said that his church usually hands out pens to allow congregants to take notes during services, but that practice has been suspended.
I asked my Catholic co-workers if they would be bothered if the Eucharistic ministers were to use hand sanitizers on stage and wear gloves while administering Communion. One said that her church has been using sanitizer for several years. All of my Catholic co-workers said that they would not only NOT be bothered by the gloves, but it would actually make them feel more comfortable.
Has the outbreak of this new strain of the coronavirus made you change your religious habits?