Local Catholic Churches Directed to Suspend Handshakes, Distribution of Wine

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STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — The Diocese of Steubenville is asking churches to suspend distributing wine during the Eucharist and allowing handshakes during the sign of peace for public health reasons.

This diocese serves 13 counties in southeastern Ohio. Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, the leader of the diocese, posted an announcement to its website last week.

Monforton wrote that pastors may either omit the exchange of peace, or people may greet one another by bowing and saying the customary “peace be with you.”

He also wrote the restrictions on wine at Holy Communion will not apply to those with celiac disease.

These precautions will remain in place at all Masses in the diocese until further notice.

Other diocese in the United States have made similar decisions as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread.