English diocese urges priests to wear masks, gloves when anointing flu victims
May 01, 2009
The Diocese of Lancaster on April 29 published an emergency pastoral planning document amid concern about a possible swine flu epidemic. Among the document’s directives:
If you are visiting a home where someone has the flu, during a local out break or a pandemic, wear a mask and gloves or wash your hands after visiting and most importantly between each separate visit … If you are blessing or anointing someone with ‘flu (e.g. with oil) or laying hands on them, wear gloves and a mask.
The document adds, “You may need to think about suspending all public worship for a time, during the height of a pandemic. The same may apply to religious instruction classes or community events. But you need to balance spreading infection with keeping up peoples’ morale.”
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