Vatican City - In an address to the clergy on Sunday, Pope Francis urged priests to begin practicing social distancing, especially with altar boys. The Catholic Church has found that it isn’t immune to the Coronavirus pandemic, in spite of the thoughts and prayers of millions of parishioners and priests around the world.
“In these unprecedented times, we must take great care. We have all had to make sacrifices and adjustments, even when accepting the body and blood of Christ into ourselves. I am asking our priests and deacons to make these same sacrifices and changes when interacting with altar boys. It is bad enough that the Church has paid out millions and millions of dollars in settlements to abuse victims, but it will break us financially should we also have to pay for their medical bills.
I am asking each and every priest to practice social distancing from children, at least until this pandemic is over, and we can get back to normal.”
Pope Francis went on to remind Catholics that while they may not be able to attend church, tithing was still mandatory. Citing unpaid and pending settlements, he said that heavenly treasures were great, but they sure won’t pay bills here on Earth.