Bishop Robert McElroy
San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy gives Communion during Mass. Photo by Chris Stone

Bishop Robert McElroy announced Wednesday that Catholic churches in San Diego will temporarily suspend the sharing of communion wine amid the growing national outbreak of coronavirus.

“For now, all parishes will suspend the practice of sharing communion by cup,” said McElroy. “All parishes will continue to distribute the Eucharist by hand; placement on the tongue is to be limited.”

“As to the sign of peace, that part of the Mass where Catholics traditionally exchange hugs or handshakes, people are simply asked to be prudent; touching is not required,” he said.

The sharing of bread and wine was instituted by Jesus Christ during the Last Supper to represent the savior’s body and blood.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, which serves 1.3 million Catholics in San Diego and Imperial counties, said it is continuing to stay in touch with state and local public health authorities and will be guided their by advice.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.