The Corner

Religion

One Suggestion for Churches

In most states, marijuana dispensaries are considered essential services, but churches, synagogues, and mosques are not. We have some evidence that religious congregations are effective spreaders of COVID-19, because singing is a powerful spreader of viral-infected droplets. One of the largest clusters in South Korea was based in a church. Groups of Orthodox Jews have similarly been afflicted in New York.

Most Catholic diocese have closed Mass to the public, although many bishops phrased it as “canceling” Mass. One hopes that the sacrifice is still offered even if congregants are not present.

In any case, I think it should be possible for many Catholic churches to allow adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and devotions like the Stations of the Cross in a way that conforms with public health advice. Volunteers — there should be many of them now — can be stationed at the front entrance, giving people hand sanitizer, or even masks if available. Perhaps a dozen or more “seats” can be marked in pews with tape. The volunteers can make sure that people coming in sit in marked spots and no more than that minimal number is allowed in. They could regularly disinfect the areas designated for seating.

I think arrangements like this could be had in other congregations where there exists a similar desire for access to a sanctuary.

This would be significantly more stringent than the conditions that obtain in open grocery stores. How about it?

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