Catholic Church in Singapore exempts members who are sick from attending Mass

In a Facebook post on Jan 24, 2020, the Catholic Church in Singapore said it is not a sin to miss Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation if one is sick.
In a Facebook post on Jan 24, 2020, the Catholic Church in Singapore said it is not a sin to miss Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation if one is sick.PHOTO: CATHOLIC LIFE SINGAPORE/ FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - The Catholic Church in Singapore is exempting its members who are unwell or showing flu-like symptoms from attending Mass where crowds are present.

"It is not a sin to miss Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation if one is sick," read a post on Facebook group Catholic Life Singapore uploaded on Friday (Jan 24).

The post was accompanied by a letter from the Chancery of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, which also reminded priests who have flu-like symptoms to only cover essential duties that do not bring them into contact with the public.

The letter was issued following news on Thursday that the Wuhan virus has made its way to Singapore. There are three confirmed cases here.

The letter noted that the Holy Communion is to be received only on the hand during this period of health concern.

"Holy Communion from the chalice is to be suspended," the letter added, referring to part of the rites where members of the congregation partake from a shared cup of wine or juice.

The conditions are in place until the Archdiocesan Chancery provides an update, the Facebook post noted. It also urged members to pray for the swift healing of the afflicted and the containment of the virus.

The Wuhan virus broke out earlier this month in the Chinese city, which it is named after. It has spread to countries such as the United States, Japan and Thailand.

In China, 26 patients with the virus have died, with another 830 cases confirmed to have been infected.