Forum: Bold decision to suspend mass

I must commend the Archbishop of the Catholic Church in how he provides spiritual leadership amid the coronavirus crisis. His decision to suspend all Catholic mass indefinitely is bold, decisive and responsible.

Attending mass is a major part of Roman Catholicism and those who fail to do so without a valid reason commit a grave sin.

The Archbishop's decision has removed the uncertainty and fear of its parishioners who may want to avoid large gatherings for fear of contracting the virus.

Medical reports suggest the virus is asymptomatic, meaning that a person can be infected and yet show no symptoms, such as a fever. And temperature screening helps to detect only those with symptoms. The mode and ease of transmission of the virus is worrisome.

In a church setting, large numbers of people meet in close proximity for over an hour, singing in an air-conditioned environment. Anyone who has the virus and is asymptomatic could infect others near him.

It would be too late if churches wait till someone is infected before deciding to suspend mass.

William Lee Ser Huat

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