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SINAJANA, Guam, August 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic church in the United States’ island territory of Guam is forbidding the faithful from kneeling in prayer during church services in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A parishioner sent LifeSiteNews the above photo of one of the pews at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Parish in Sinajana, bearing a sign asking the faithful, “PLEASE DO NOT KNEEL.” The parishioner also said that a priest at the church had stopped administering Holy Communion on the tongue.
A July 12 notice published to the church’s Facebook page lists “do not use kneelers to pray” among a list of health rules for indoor services, which also includes mandatory face masks and temperature screenings, hand sanitizer at the entrances, and forbidding handshakes during the “sign of peace.”
“I didn’t go back the following Sundays because of the sign,” said one parishioner, who wished to remain anonymous. “I decided to go to another church that does not post such nonsense.” The parishioner added that posting the signs “indicates to me lack of faith in the Eucharist.”
LifeSiteNews has reached out to St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Parish for comment, and will update this report upon reply.
Across the world, many secular authorities have heavily restricted the right to religious assembly in the name of containing COVID-19, with a few specifically targeting distribution of Communion. But of arguably greater concern for the faithful are Catholic leaders voluntarily imposing such restrictions on their congregations. Bishops in parts of the United States, France, Malta, Jerusalem, Singapore, the Philippines, England, and Wales have all forbidden receiving Communion on the tongue.
Guam, an island of 165,768 people, has seen just 375 confirmed COVID-19 cases and five total deaths as of August 4.