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North American Old Catholic Church

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Church Issues Guidelines on Swine Flu

In light of the declared health emergency, the church is modifying several religious practices to prevent transmission of swine flu at its services.

Washington, DC, April 30, 2009 --( The North American Old Catholic Church issued guidelines today to all parishes and ministers with regards to the Swine Flu outbreak.

These guidelines restrict several actions that occur in Catholic worship that may transmit the Swine Flu virus from one parishioner to another.

Until the Centers for Disease Control ends the health emergency declaration with regards to the Swine Flu, the following changes to the worship experience have been instituted:

· Physically exchanging the sign of peace by shaking hands, hugging, or other bodily contact is prohibited;
· Passing the communion chalice when non-alcoholic wine is utilized is prohibited;
· The practice of ‘intinction’- dipping the communion bread into the communion wine before consumption is prohibited;
· Passing the chalice when 12% by volume alcohol wine will continue to be permitted, however the communicant will not be allowed to hold the chalice as is sometimes the practice. The chalice will need to be held by the minister;

Clergy are also instructed to be sure to thoroughly wash chalices with warm soap and water between each use.

In a memo to the church, Archbishop Michael Seneco stated: “While these rules may seem excessive, and over cautious- the public perception of the Swine Flu issue is one of great concern and panic. These changes should continue to instill confidence in our parishioners for the duration of this public health emergency.” Seneco is the presiding bishop of the church.

A copy of the memo can be downloaded at


Fostering a continued, strong commitment to catholic tradition, and the search for contemporary meaning, the North American Old Catholic Church is part of the worldwide, universal church of Jesus Christ.

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North American Old Catholic Church
Gregg Nall

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