Safety and Reverence: How Roman Catholic Liturgy Can Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of religion and health. 2021, 60 (4), 2331-2352. 10.1007/s10943-021-01282-x
The current COVID-19 pandemic is a major challenge for many religious denominations. The Roman Catholic Church strongly depends on physical communal worship and sacraments. Disagreements grow concerning the best balance between safety and piety. To address this issue, I review the major transmission risks for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and list certain measures to enhance the safety of the Roman Catholic Liturgy without compromising its intrinsic beauty and reverent spiritual attitude. This can be achieved through assimilation of several traditional elements into the modern liturgy. I emphasize that religious leadership and decision-making should be transparent and based on inclusiveness, pluralism, best scientific evidence and voluntary cooperation.