Nigeria: Ebola – Catholic Church Reverses Orders On Holy Communion, Handshakes

Following the declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO) last October that Nigeria is an Ebola-free nation, the Catholic Bishops Conference at the weekend ordered all its priests and the lay faithful to revert to the normal practices of receiving Holy Communion through the tongue.The church also ordered its members to resume the observance of handshake as a sign of peace during masses.The Catholic Bishop Conference also directed that holy water founts at the entrance of churches be filled again with holy water and never to be allowed to go dry any more.

All these were duly observed at all masses prior to the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in July this year, when the same Catholic Bishop Conference met and issued a circular, that put a stop to the initial practice for fear of spreading the deadly virus through the Catholic Church.

Reading the December 2014 special circular, signed by the Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Alfred Adewale Martins, which was circulated to all Catholic Churches in Lagos Archdiocese, and across the country, the Parish Priest of St. Timothy Catholic Church, Ojodu, Rev. Fr. Gabriel Kunle Amolegbe, said the reversal order was with immediate effect.

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