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NEWS: Archdiocese mulls Catholic Mass amid COVID19 concerns

By Troy Torres

(Tumon, Guam) St. Anthony parish pastor Fr. Mike Crisostomo informed his congregation of the possibility that Mass may be regulated further or canceled depending on the Coronavirus situation on the island.

This question of whether to suspend Mass is not unique to Guam. The Diocese of Rome has cancelled all Mass for a month, according to global news reports two days ago.

Today, the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference is asking parishioners with underlying health conditions to not attend Mass, funerals, or confirmation ceremonies. The bishops also are asking parishioners to keep a safe distance from each other during church gatherings.

The Archdiocese of Boston has implemented guidelines the Archdiocese of Agana already has implemented in response to the global outbreak. According to the Boston Herald:

"The Archdiocese has — until further notice — suspended the distribution of the blood of Christ, and said the exchange of the peace sign is to be offered without any physical contact. Holy water fonts are to be regularly drained and cleaned with disinfecting soap, according to Archdiocese spokesman Terence Donilon."

The Archdiocese of Agana in February issued recommendations similar to the guidelines reported by the Boston Herald. According to spokesman Tony Diaz, the Archdiocese of Agana now is making those recommendations mandatory.

"The Archbishop will make a final determination about this as we learn more about the situation," Fr. Mike announced to his congregation following Wednesday morning Mass at the church regarding the church's COVID19 preparations.

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