Orthodox priests for the first time gave Holy Communion to several patients with coronavirus who are treated at home. Meanwhile, they strictly followed the instructions agreed with the sanitary authorities, said Vasily Rulinsky, spokesman for the Synodal Charity Department, reports Foma.
“Specially trained priests from a group that was formed in our Synodal Department perform the Sacraments at home. All of them were instructed and received personal protective equipment. There are 19 priests in this group, they are on duty around the clock: their shifts last for 12 hours. There are 2 priests in each shift. Recently, the priests have visited people with a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus at home 3 times,” he said.
Vasily Rulinsky also specified that the Synodal Charity Department, after consulting with the sanitary authorities, developed a special document that regulates the procedure for performing the Sacraments at home and in hospitals when visiting people who are infected with coronavirus or have contacted such people.
At the moment, hot lines appear in different dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church to receive calls from all those in need. Clergymen also visit such people, as well as volunteers who deliver food and medicine.
The issue of admission of priests to hospitals where people infected with coronavirus are being treated is still being decided.
“Some priests from our special group have already expressed the desire to “register” in specific hospitals and not to leave them in order to avoid any risks of infecting other people outside the hospital. This option is also being considered now,” concluded the spokesman for the Synodal Charity Department.