NPR reports error in germ worries story

NPR reports error in germ worries story

National Public Radio reported on Wednesday on the steps taken in the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, regarding flu and cold precautions, but got it all wrong. They actually said that Bishop Ken Angell had “suspended” Communion!

No, what he did was suspend the Sign of Peace and Communion under both species between October 31 and Easter Sunday. Of course, people would still receive Communion in the form of the Sacred Host. Perhaps they should have spent more time getting their facts straight and less time making sly remarks about the most sacred parts of our faith.

Meanwhile, they also interviewed an infectious disease specialist who said you’re not very likely to get sick from the chalice holding the Precious Blood, that the Sign of Peace is much more risky, and that in any case, neither of these activities is any more risky for catching flus or colds than any other public activity.

Also, Bishop Angell’s reported reasoning for the suspensions is that people expressed worries to him about getting sick. I don’t get it. You don’t need the bishop to order a complete suspension if you don’t to receive from the Cup or shake someone’s hand. As in the Boston archdiocese and others, he could have simply suggested people who are worried should refrain. After all receiving from the Cup and shaking hands at the Sign of Peace are completely voluntary actions. Once again, rather than taking responsibility for themselves people look to someone else to be their nanny.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli