“Neurotic media” claims Holy Communion spreads COVID

communion spread covid-19

Greece’s Holy Synod has said giving Holy Communion to people using the same spoon will not spread Covid-19.

Following the death of a clergyman with the disease, the Church issued a statement saying members of the media alleging Covid-19 was spread via communion are “neurotic.”

Ioannis, the Bishop of Langadas, in Thessaloniki, passed away recently.

He was an outspoken advocate of maintaining communion using a shared spoon during the pandemic.

Lagadas, outside Greece’s second-largest city of Thessaloniki, is a region experiencing the highest rate of infection in the country.

Ioannis, 62, argued that there was no risk of transmission. His worshippers were given bread and wine with a shared spoon.

His stance was backed by other church officials.

The Church’s governing Holy Synod said that it was complying with public safety restrictions.

It hit back at critics who have accused the Church of acting irresponsibly.

“Certain aspiring leaders of public opinion are insisting in a neurotic manner on concentrating exclusively on Holy Communion,” a statement from the Synod said.

“They cite unscientific correlations with the spread of the coronavirus, in defiance of epidemiological evidence.”

Greek health experts have mostly avoided commenting on church practices. But they have noted that World Health Organization guidelines list saliva as a leading means of contamination.

Christos Giannoulis, a Thessaloniki lawmaker for the left-wing Syriza party, said the conservative government should have sought stronger support from the Church in its public health campaign.

“I do believe places of worship have contributed to the rapid spread of the pandemic though they are certainly not the only one. Add that to overcrowding on public transport, crowding outside schools, and the tragic lack of testing and we are where we are now,” Giannoulis told The Associated Press.

Churches across Greece are closed as part of a three-week nationwide lockdown that started Nov. 7. They are due to reopen before the Christmas period.


The National Herald

AP News

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