COVID-19: Pandemic

COVID-19, a coronavirus disease, has been headline news since last December.

By March 11, 2020, we had more than 122,000 known cases in 120 countries and territories. 6,100 of those were serious. The March 11 death toll was 4,300 — 3,200 in China. On the ‘up’ side, 67,000 have recovered from the disease.

Folks are dealing with travel restrictions, quarantines and cancelled events.

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Catholic Churches in Egypt Hold Friday of Prayer for People Infected by Coronavirus

On Friday, March 13, the Egyptian catholic communities prayed for the victims of the coronavirus epidemic, asking the Lord the recovery of the infected people, the merciful reception for who dies and the consolation for who loses their loved ones because of the disease. reported Fides News Agency.

In a statement released in the name of the Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Egypt, co-chaired by the Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak (in the photo) and by the Melkite Patriarch Youssef Absi, it is acknowledged that the virus represents a global threat for the entire humanity, and the protection of the Lord is invoked over the Egyptian nation and “over every country in the world”.

According to official statistics released by the Egyptian Ministry of Health, there are about sixty cases of coronavirus infection so far.

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Polish Episcopate Recommends Precautions in Churches Regarding Coronavirus

“According to the Code of Canon Law, until March 29, we recommend that diocesan bishops grant dispensation from participating in Sunday Mass to the elderly, the faithful who have symptoms of infection (e.g. coughing, rhinitis, increased body temperature), children and school youth and adults who take direct care of them, as well as those who feel afraid of being infected,” announced the Order issued after the March 12 meeting of the Permanent Council of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

The Council underlines that precautionary measures have been taken in the interests of the life and health of the population. The bishops point out that taking advantage of the dispensation means that it is not a sin to miss Sunday Mass at the indicated time. At the same time, they ask that those who take advantage of the dispensation “continue in personal and family prayer”. “We also encourage spiritual connection with the Church community through radio, television or Internet transmission,” reads the Order.

The Permanent Council of the Episcopate also introduces rules to be in force until 29 March during the liturgy in churches. Priests and ministers with signs of infection cannot distribute Holy Communion. Those who administer this sacrament should wash their hands thoroughly and follow the rules of hygiene. “We remind that the Church’s liturgical regulations also provide for receiving Holy Communion on hand. The sign of peace should be exchanged by nodding of the head, without shaking hands. The veneration of the Cross should be performed without direct contact, by kneeling or deep inclination. In addition, the veneration of relics must be avoided by kissing or touching. Protective films should be put on the confessional grill. During this time, we should refrain from filling the church’s fonts with holy water” – the bishops emphasize.

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Full US appeals court considers Ohio Down syndrome abortion ban

Cincinnati, Ohio, Mar 12, 2020 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- The full Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on March 11 heard arguments over an Ohio law that prohibits abortions on the grounds of a diagnosis of Down syndrome, and which has been blocked for over two years.

Former Governor John Kasich signed the law during December 2017, but it has not yet been able to come into effect, as a U.S. Court of Appeals panel upheld the law’s blockage during October 2019.

The office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said at the time that the state would seek a review by the full 6th Circuit, as the decision was handed down 2-1 by a U.S. Court of Appeals panel.

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