Thiruvananthapuram: A group of doctors came up against the ceremony of offering the holy communion to the Christian devotees on tongue. Dr PA Thomas, former plastic surgeon in Thiruvananthapuram Medical college, submitted a letter to the health secretary demanding government’s action to end this system.
Qualified Private Medical Practitioners Association had also submitted a letter to the church authorities to discontinue this ceremony. Holy mass is observed for remembering the last supper of Jesus and his disciples a day before the Christ’s crucifixion. A specially prepared sacramental bread and wine is used for this ceremony. Different churches are feeding these to the devotees in varied ways. Dr PA Thomas said that they are demanding an immediate action in the wake of the dangerous diseases like Nipah and Hepatitis.
As the priest feeds the small bread to the devotees with his own hands during the holy mass, the saliva of the recipient will get stuck on the priest’s fingers. Likewise, wine is fed to all the devotees using the same spoon.
This is a very unhealthy practice which is followed in many churches on Sundays. This issue can be solved if they offer the bread to the devotees’ hands and serve wine in glasses,’ said the letter.
The Thamarassery bishop Remigiose Inchananiyil of the Syro-Malabar church had announced that the sacramental bread should be served on the devotees’ hands until the Nipah virus outbreak was tackled in Kozhikode.