door handleI see lots of action on the part of bishops to react to virus concerns. I think the concerns about spreading infection are real. People should be staying home if sick, washing their hands whether they are home or afoot, sick or well.

Some bishops have zeroed in on the appearances of bread and wine, but not all have looked at standing water in dishes by the door. Or the handles and pushbars on the doors themselves.

According to the doctors with whom I’ve spoken, there is less danger receiving from the Cup than from the hands of Communion Ministers. The mouth is more insulated from infection than the nose and nasal passages. People absent-mindedly rub their noses and the face around the nose.

Of course there are challenges. People think of fluids as full of cooties, and a problem for our culture. We don’t share drinking cups. We also aren’t accustomed to washing our hands a lot. We are more accustomed to taking pills, getting vaccines, and not thinking too much about disease.

Some good things might come of this. There might be more compassion for sick people. There might be more compassion for people in other lands who suffer from serious epidemics.

Bad things too are happening. People hoarding supplies. Anger. Politicizing. Treating the Church’s laity like children unable to make their own decisions.

I’m counting on more good in the end. Plus, watch your door handle

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Concerns

  1. Liam says:

    The cup also has the hand problem, albeit indirect, multiplied: the doctors may not be considering that the cup is typically held back and forth, without purification of the stem in between. It’s grabbing and holding that imprints germs more firmly on things (hence the issue of gas station pump handles, classically the worst thing. Anyway, offering it has been interdicted here, so it’s not an issue for now, but something to keep in mind when permission resumes, as infection is a year-round issue.

    If the door handles aren’t knobs but hooks of some sort, lesser fingers may be used, and newer churches often have the option of release by handicap button (hint: use something than your fingertips to hit buttons – knuckles, other clothed body parts, et cet.) Some people who live or lived with proximity to those with immune-suppression may remember these things more than others who have not.

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