Catholic archbishop asks parishes to take precautions for coronavirus, flu | KOB 4

Catholic archbishop asks parishes to take precautions for coronavirus, flu

Grace Reader
Created: March 08, 2020 05:12 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—A historic church in Old Town Plaza is adapting some of their Catholic conventions in order to take precautions for the coronavirus and the flu.

Shaking feet is the new handshake for parishioners at San Felipe De Neri Church in Old Town.


“When you're greeting folks, we don't shake hands anymore. We do a knuckle bust or just give them the sign of the peace,” said parishioner Wayne Galdony.

The new “handshake” is one of many things the Archbishop asked churches to do in a memo sent earlier this year.

“To refrain from sharing germs if possible,” said Father Andrew Pavlak.

That means no more hand-holding, no receiving Communion wafers on the tongue and no more Holy Water.

“Because what does everybody do? Put their hand in the Holy Water, bless themselves then cough and it becomes a little petri dish,” Father Pavlak said.

Church leaders are also asking people who are sick to not attend church until they feel better.

“It's not a sin to miss mass if you are sick. It's a bigger sin to come to mass if you are sick and pass your germs around,” Father said.

Father Pavlak said the church has implemented these restrictions during past flu seasons, but are more serious about them now because of the coronavirus.


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