Tuesday, February 25, 2020


Is the CDC creating Mass hysteria? They warn that the coronavirus could spread in the USA.

Those with no scruples when it comes to the common chalice as a threat to the public health will bitterly complain about the "sky is falling" approach of the CDC.

What happens to our parishes, especially those with big bills to pay, if no one attends Mass out of Mass hysteria?

In December, out of an abundance of caution, due to the flu epidemic in Georgia, I eliminated the common chalice. Our Cathedral has followed suit.

I doubt that I will implement again the common chalice as it is such a danger to public health.

But what further things should parishes be doing?

Our non-existent liturgy office, of course, is no help in the Diocese of Savannah. In fact, they haven't even notified priests of the new and improved funeral or baptismal ritual which becomes mandatory very soon, but who knows when, since we haven't be told by our liturgical commission.

And if the coronavisus is going to be as bad as the chicken little CDC says, we may need this ritual! 


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Is the CDC creating Mass hysteria?"

No, you are. Actually, you are not creating it, you are giving in to it.

"They warn that the coronavirus could spread in the USA. Those with no scruples when it comes to the common chalice as a threat to the public health will bitterly complain about the "sky is falling" approach of the CDC."

No, I won't. The coronavirus CAN spread to the USA. It CAN kill off tens of millions of people. It CAN mean the end of the world.

But.... The likelihood is slim, so it is not the time to be hysterical.

"I doubt that I will implement again the common chalice as it is such a danger to public health."

It is not "such a danger to public health" and to make that claim is intentionally misleading and fear-mongering.

Dan said...

Now might be the time to join that new Virtual Reality Church. Wear your VR headset in the comfort of your own home! Google it...

Anonymous said...

Currently (25 February 2020) From the CDC:

Risk Assessment

Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people, the severity of resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccine or treatment medications). The fact that this disease has caused illness, including illness resulting in death, and sustained person-to-person spread is concerning. These factors meet two of the criteria of a pandemic. As community spread is detected in more and more countries, the world moves closer toward meeting the third criteria, worldwide spread of the new virus.

The potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 is high, both globally and to the United States.

But individual risk is dependent on exposure.

For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.

Under current circumstances, certain people will have an increased risk of infection, for example healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 and other close contacts of persons with COVID-19. CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19.

However, it’s important to note that current global circumstances suggest it is likely that this virus will cause a pandemic. In that case, the risk assessment would be different.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Keep in mind that the Zombie 🧟‍♂️ apocalypse on the walking dead was created by a Coronavirus like virus!

Anonymous said...

Fr. MJK, it doesn’t appear to me that FRAJM is being hysterical, but rather cautionary. And this is a cautionary time for us. The CDC is directing that flow of info, and will continue to do so. We don’t need to over-react of course, but neither should we under-react.

JR said...

Funeral Ritual? Don't you mean the Order of Baptism for Children? The new Baptism ritual may be used in celebrations of Baptisms for the first time as of February 2, 2020, and its use is mandatory on Easter Sunday, April 12. On that latter date, the former Rite of Baptism for Children may no longer be used in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Why Do People Fear The Wrong Things?

Fr Martin Fox said...

It seems to me...

- That the most likely outcome is that the Wuhan virus is going to be another flu; lots and lots of people will get it, only those who are in vulnerable situations will be hit hard. It's not the apocalypse.

- If you are worried about transmission of germs at Mass, then communion in the hand is as bad (if not worse) than the common cup. When people receive on the tongue, kneeling, their posture makes it fairly easy to avoid hand-to-mouth contact. When people receive on the tongue, standing, this is harder. When people receive in the hand, hand-to-hand contact is almost guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

When I go to church, I notice that most of the youngsters are in their 60’s. That puts the majority of people in the high risk group. The pastor did stop the common cup out of fear for the flu, but I suspect he has his eye on the corona virus. Even though that virus isn’t here yet, I don’t think it is over reacting, even if it’s just for the flu. Again, his parishioners are in the high risk group. I wonder if the handshakes will be discouraged next? Holy water fonts, how are they disinfected? All stuff to think about, it’s not over reacting but preparation. I heard in northern Italy people are being reminded that only the priest needs to receive communion. For lost revenue, many churches collect donations online.

Anonymous said...

One of the differences between "the flu" and this novel COVID-19 is that there are effective vaccines for the flu.Many people get that vaccine, especially those over 50. There is no vaccine for COVID-19. Here is a blurb describing a flu epidemic before effective vaccines were developed:

"No other epidemic has claimed as many lives as the Spanish Influenza epidemic in 1918-1919. Worldwide, as many as 40 million people died as this virulent illness swept through city after city (some estimates put total deaths closer to 70 million). Stories abounded of people dying within hours of first feeling ill."

The CDC isn't over reacting