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The Clergy's Response to SARS

Posted By: Pearl Polestico on May 5, 2003
The outbreak of a deadly disease in Asia and in Canada commonly known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has caused panic in the entire world, including the Roman Catholic clergy and other religions. Church services draw the faithfuls in numbers and are possible venues for close contact with probable SARS carriers. In Asia the Roman Catholic clergy responded by giving the holy communion not by mouth, but by hand, to safeguard the priest or lay minister in administering the sacred host from getting the deadly corona virus. Hearing confessions from the box has been temporarily suspended and absolution is given everytime during the Eucharistic celebration. What if the communicant would prefer receiving the Holy Communion not by the hand, but by his mouth? And what if the penitent would prefer going to the confessional box instead of receiving the absolution? Can the priest refuse these just because he wants to protect himself from the deadly SARS?
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 The Clergy's Response to SARS by Pearl Polestico on May 5, 2003
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