Saturday, February 4, 2017
THE COMMON CHALICE AND THE SPREAD OF DISEASE REDUX
#4 below from sciencedirect:
While the article I link below does not deal with the transmission of Hepatitis C, which can only be transferred by blood to blood contact, it does indicate that disease can be spread from the common chalice. This was made explicit during the H1N2 crisis years back when the common chalice was banned by bishops.
I would be more concerned about those who consume what remains in a chalice as well as drinks the ablutions, like the priest celebrant.
We know that if someone has bleeding gums or mouth sores that are bleeding, even in a small amount, it is possible blood can remain on the chalice or in the dregs at the end of the last person receiving. If the person who drinks the dregs has bleeding gums or mouth sores then Hep C could be transmitted. The hep c virus can live for four days on the surface of anything. Again, it is only blood to blood contact that Hep C can be transmitted.
Many people who have Hep C don't know they have it because they have no symptoms for upwards to more than 30 years! When they discover they have it, or have gotten rid of it on their own, they do not know how they got it because they have not done anything risky in terms of blood to blood contact. So who knows how many may have contracted Hep C from the common chalice, if only a small number.
Even if it is rare that one contact any virus shouldn't the Church take an abundance of caution in an optional ritual of drinking from the common chalice, especially those responsible for the ablutions, normally a priest or deacon in terms of blood to blood contact in the mouth?