Bishop Albert Thevenot Updates his Marriage Social Distancing Policy

A suitable subtitle to this is perhaps: blessed are the clean of heart. The updated policy included several explanations on how to clean a church building after someone has entered it. Physically cleanse it, I mean.

The local ordinary for my diocese, Bishop Albert Thevenot, made waves recently by stating that in his diocese a bride and groom had to stay 2 metres apart at weddings (and hence should not get married). Initially I wrote about it at OnePeterFive. However, when Phil Lawler and LifeSiteNews picked up on the story, it exploded.

Bishop Albert has issued an update. Fair is fair, and it behooves me to ensure people know that social distancing for the betrothed is no longer required. Thanks be to God. But first, some highlights from his letter issued May 22:

- “When attending a gathering indoors, you must register upon your arrival. Registration sheets must include printed name, phone number or email address. Remember to bring your own pen.” I think of how the name “Big Brother” appeared in George Orwell’s 1984. The name COVID-1984 seems apt. I’m not sure if this is a government policy or not. I somehow don’t think so, seeing as my grocery shopping and Tim Hortons buying don’t require me to divulge sensitive personal contact data.

- “The use of mask may be recommended. You may wear a mask if you wish.” No, I didn’t mistype anything here.  

- “Giving and Receiving Communion: Wine will not be offered at this time. Receiving the host is recommended only in the hand. The priest will bring the communion to the individual. If the host is received on the tongue, the priest is to wear a mask and is to disinfect his hands after each person.” Well, there will be no wine. That’s sad. I like wine. At least nothing was said about the Precious Blood! On another note, does anyone ever flush the toilet by using their tongue? No? You use your hands? That’s what I thought…

- “It is recommended that priest and penitent remain standing during confession, respecting social distancing.” This is a new one to me. But I’m thankful to have confession nonetheless.

And finally, in regards to weddings, “The couple may stand together and those of the same household.” 

Again, fair is fair. I commend Bishop Albert for reversing his initial policy.

Photo credit: Lightweave Photography


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