Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ebola: Catholic church suspends handshaking in church

Following the panic created by the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Nigeria, the Catholic Church has urged its members to desist from shaking hands during the sign of peace session, terminating part of the eucharistic rites of mass and church service.

Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Metropolitan See, John Cardinal Onaiyekan told THISDAY that "the church is taking precautionary steps to avoid the spread of the disease."

Onaiyekan denied that the church had banned handshaking during mass, a prominent ritual that replicates Jesus Christ Last Super with his twelve disciples in the Bible.

"No, we have not banned shaking of hands" Onaiyekan said, "we are only discouraging it and it is going to be temporary until it is clear that Nigeria is no longer under Ebola threat," he stressed.

The Cardinal informed THISDAY that the church adopted the suspension of hand shaking as "a possible means to avoid the spread of Ebola virus and also prayers to keep the country safe."

He added that "many people are not comfortable with shaking people they don't know during this period of Ebola, so there is need to take such steps," Onaiyekan said.

You may also read:

Ebola in Nigeria: Lagosians now avoid each other (photos)

How to protect yourself from Ebola virus

Ebola: 2Face Idibia's wife flees Lagos event

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