The Church of Cyprus, an independent Greek Orthodox church, has no intention to stop serving wine and wafers during communion despite the threat of the novel coronavirus. Even though the ritual requires contact with the same vessels, they’re not afraid because they insist God would never let the virus transmit that way.
So I guess that’s settled.
The Orthodox Times has the statement in English:
Regarding the offering of the Holy Communion, the position of the Church is known. The Holy Communion does not symbolize but it is the Body and Blood of Christ. It would be blasphemous to think that Christ’s Body and Blood could transmit any disease or virus. Based upon the centuries-old experience of Christianity, there is no evidence of such transmission. The priests who served in infectious diseases hospitals and administered the Holy Communion to those patients, in the end, received the remainder of the Divine Communion themselves by using the same spoon. No priest was infected in these cases.
One attends the sacrament of the Holy Communion with faith, which protects against all danger. Participation is voluntary. No one is forced. If some feel that they want to abstain from the sacrament in that time, they are free to do so.
These people are going to delude themselves and everyone around them into infection.
There’s no immunity conferred upon anyone because of religion. We know this because religious people get sick from viruses all the time. No amount of prayer will ever stop that. Saying an object is holy is as powerful as saying a blanket is an invisibility cloak. You may think it, but that doesn’t make it so.
(via Boing Boing. Image via Shutterstock)