Catholic Church takes precautionary measures against COVID-19
March 8, 2020 12:10 pm
The Head of the Catholic Church in Fiji Archbishop Peter Loy Chong has issued an advisory on the COVID-19 outbreak.
All Holy water will be removed from fonts in Churches and all Holy Communion will be offered only through the sacred bread.
Receiving the precious blood will now be withheld.
All ministers of communion should use alcohol-based sanitizers before distributing communion and wash hands with soap after distribution.
Shaking hands as a sign of peace during the Mass can be replaced by a respectful bow or acknowledgement.
This is a precautionary method taken within the Archdiocese of Suva and Archbishop Chong suggests that this be adopted by all congregations.
“We recognize that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in Fiji is very low but let us not be complacent. At all times let us bear in mind the church’s call to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable – our children, the elderly, our mothers and the sick in the community. “Once the international threat of the COVID-19 ends, we can, as a faith family, return to the usual practices of using Holy Water, the chalice of Christ’s most holy blood and the shaking of hands.”
These measures were adapted from advice given by the Australian Council of Catholic Bishops to parishes throughout Australia which already has cases of COVID-19.