No prayer against swine flu?
San Antonio has been hard hit by the swine flu, but if local Roman Catholics go to Mass to pray for deliverance from the disease, they may not get the relief they had hoped for. Archbishop Jose Gomez has issued a letter to priests in the archdiocese recommending they make changes in the Mass because of the swine flu outbreak.
“I am requesting that you offer Holy Communion under only one species, bread only,” Gomez told his priests. “Also, during the Lord’s Prayer, please suspend the holding of hands and the shaking of hands or embracing during the sign of peace.”
“Common sense would dictate that washing of hands by ministers and others who come in contact with people can be effective in preventing the spread of swine flu,” Gomez wrote.
San Antonio, the oldest continuously operating Catholic diocese in the United States, has also been one of the areas hit hardest by the outbreak, with tens of thousands of students out of class due to school closings. Gomez, a native of Mexico, also asked his parishioners to pray for the families in Mexico who lave lost loved ones due to the swine flu outbreak there.