Archdiocese halts Communion wine practice amid flu season

Posted: Updated:
THE BRONX -

A common practice in church has been temporarily suspended as flu season rages on.

Taking communion at Catholic Mass usually includes eating a wafer that symbolizes Christ's body and sipping wine from a communal cup to symbolize his blood.

However, the Archdiocese of New York has called for the wine drinking to temporarily stop. Church leaders say they want to protect their parishioners from the very serious flu that is widespread in the state and the country.

They are recommending that members not make physical contact with those who are sick during the peace offering at Mass – which is usually marked with a handshake between congregants.

Saint Benedict's in Throgs Neck is heeding the warning and has removed the communal wine practice from its services for now.

"We're at a proportion in this flu season that we really need to take it seriously so as a pastor, I need to be concerned for the whole community and that's what I believe I'm trying to do," says Father Stephen Norton.

But not all are happy with the decision. Parishioner Liza Gecaj says she is disappointed to see the tradition halted.

"I think it's not a good idea," says Gecaj. "I believe it's sacred and I believe you get healed by God (of) whatever disease you're going to have."

Church leaders say the wine-drinking practice will be reinstated when flu season ends.

  • GalleriesMore>>

  • Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show trots into New York

    Westminster Kennel Club's annual dog show trots into New York

    Westminster Kennel ClubWestminster Kennel Club
    Westminster Kennel ClubWestminster Kennel Club
    Photos from the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Piers 92/94 in February, 2019 in New York City.
    Photos from the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Piers 92/94 in February, 2019 in New York City.
  • Bronx Birthday Smiles

    Bronx Birthday Smiles

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!
    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

    It's a celebration! Is your or a loved one's birthday coming up? Let us know! Send us your photos and you could end up on air and News12.com!

  • Guide: Brooklyn and Bronx Breweries

    Guide: Brooklyn and Bronx Breweries

    Tuesday, August 28 2018 9:30 AM EDT2018-08-28 13:30:56 GMT

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the boroughs for beer-lovers to visit.

    Looking to check out brewery this summer? There are many breweries across the boroughs for beer-lovers to visit.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."