Watch CBS News

Coronavirus Impact: Archbishop of Miami Thomas Wenski Asks Priests To Refrain From Services That Would Potentially Spread Virus

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, is asking priests to refrain from offering "drive-through" palms, confessions or holy Communion or "any similar type of activity" that would encourage people to leave their homes for at least the next two weeks.

Here is what Wenski had to say in a letter sent on April 1:

"These next two weeks, our health professionals tell us will be very critical — with more people becoming infected and more deaths," Archbishop Wenski wrote. "Because many people who are infected may not have any symptoms, the best way to mitigate risk is to practice social isolation and, if one has symptoms or has possibly been exposed, or has an underlying health problem, to self-quarantine."

"Because of the need for everyone to observe extreme social distance, and to follow civil authorities instructions to remain at home as much as possible to mitigate the risks of spreading the virus, it is not prudent for parishes to plan any activity that would encourage people to leave their homes," the archbishop wrote (emphasis his). "Therefore, parishes are not to offer 'drive through' palms, confessions or Holy Communion or any similar type of activity."

Wenski added that "parishes should still be open to respond to calls from parishioners" and "respond to emergencies," including visiting the sick in the hospital — if permitted to do so — while taking all needed precautions.

The archbishop also urged priests to continue live streaming Masses and other liturgical services

He also suggested that, on Palm Sunday, parishioners could place a palm frond on their door as "most yards in South Florida have some type of palm in them."

Current Curfews In South Florida
Drive-Through Testing Locations
Washing Your Hands Is Best Defense Against Coronavirus, Not A Facemask 
Track The Spread Of The Coronavirus In Real Time

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.