Archdiocese of San Antonio temporarily stops distributing sacramental wine due to coronavirus

The Archdiocese of San Antonio will temporarily stop distributing sacramental wine because of concerns about the coronavirus.

The decision was part of a new set of precautionary guidelines issued Tuesday to parishes and Catholic schools.

Parishes were also asked to distribute Holy Communion wafers in the hand rather than on the tongue and to remove holy water from fonts at the church doors. Pastors will have discretion in instituting the guidelines in their parishes.

The archdiocese advised parishioners to avoid physical contact. The temporary measures also come during the Lenten season.

READ MORE: Diamond Princess evacuees to be released from coronavirus quarantine at Lackland Tuesday

The organization, which serves over 100 parishes and thousands of students in the San Antonio area, made the changes to its Mass protocol the day after Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared a local public health emergency.

More than 120 evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship will leave their quarantine at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland on Tuesday. Local officials sought to extend their confinement Monday following the mistaken release of an evacuee from China who tested positive for the coronavirus after she was discharged into the community.

The archdiocese noted that other dioceses in Texas and across the country have adopted similar temporary measures.

Mark Dunphy is a breaking news reporter and general assignment writer. Read him on our breaking news site,, and on our subscriber site, | [email protected] | @m_b_dunphy

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