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proper Bostonians

By Diogenes (articles ) | Feb 05, 2010

Parishes in the Boston archdiocese are "resuming rituals," the Boston Globe tells us, now that fears of the swine flu have subsided. 

Many parishes have already resumed sharing communion wine and allowing worshipers to shake hands.

As any altar boy can tell you, severe penalties await anyone caught taking nips out of the wine bottles in the sacristy. And since there's no "wine" available at Communion time, the first part of the Globe report is obscure.

But the second part is downright troubling. Were priests in Boston telling parishioners that they couldn't shake hands? Chastity is an important virtue, and it's true that you should strive to keep the battle far from the castle wall, but really, under any normal circumstances, handshakes cannot be considered a near occasion of sin. It's good to hear that the archdiocese has backed away from this scrupulosity, and allowed to shake hands once again.

Oh, you mean during Mass? Never mind.

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