News archive 2009

Statement of the Diocese of Ferns regarding ‘the sign of peace’

PRESS RELEASE
23 July 2009

Statement of the Diocese of Ferns regarding ‘the sign of peace’

The diocese of Ferns has consulted with the HSE regarding the issue of ‘suspending’ the sign of peace (handshake) at Masses. Some people have raised the issue with the diocese in recent times in light of fears over the threat of ‘swine flu.’
The current position of the HSE is that there is no need to suspend the practice. The Diocese of Ferns respects this advice and at present there is no plan to change the current practice.
The diocese of Ferns has noted the HSE’s concerns as to the dangers of persons with flu symptoms attending at Mass and at church services. This constitutes the greatest danger of all in terms of spreading disease.
The diocese now asks persons with symptoms of flu not to participate in Church services during their illness.
The diocese also asks that all church ministers be conscious of the need for increased hygiene at the present time.
The issue remains under review.
Note:
Fr. John Carroll has been asked by the Bishop of Ferns to act as ongoing liaison with the HSE on this matter and any changes as are necessary will be communicated immediately to the priests and people of the diocese.
Ends
Fr John Carroll (Rev.)

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