No holy water or wine: Catholics’ coronavirus bans

TOWNSVILLE'S Bishop has issued a crackdown on Catholic churches, schools and childcares amid the coronavirus crisis, including no shaking hands.

Bishop Timothy Harris has met with the Townsville Catholic Education Office, Centacare, Mary MacKillop Childcare Service, Saints Catholic College and other agencies to a plan a response to the coronavirus spread.

Speaking of the coronavirus spread, Bishop Harris said: "It is therefore beholden on me as Bishop of Townsville to act in the best interests of our Mass going population to ensure that we are all playing our part in supporting the health and safety of parishioners and people of the region".

His directives are that communion will only be received in one hand, that holy water should be removed from stoops at the doors of churches, and people sick with flu-like symptoms are to stay at home and not attend mass until their sickness passes.

 

 

The practice of distributing the precious blood (wine) will also stop except for the celebrant only, and clergy and parishioners should not touch each other by shaking hands at the kiss of peace; a nod or a smile is appropriate with the words "peace be with you".

 

Bishop Timothy Harris has issued directives to local churches and clergy to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Bishop Timothy Harris has issued directives to local churches and clergy to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

 

All ministers of Holy Communion - both ordinary and extraordinary - are to wash their hands with soap and hot water before distribution of Holy Communion commences.

"I will be monitoring the situation on a daily basis and please God we can return to our usual practices when the threat is judged to be non-existent of low," Bishop Harris said in his letter.

"Of course, ongoing vigilance is essential, threat or no threat.

"We pray for the victims of the is virus around the world. May we play our part in doing what we can to stop the spread of COVID-19."