Bishops call on Catholics to respect detachment at Christmas masses

Embrace of peace or kiss in the image of the Baby Jesus are suspended

Photo: Flávio Costa | Sul Informação

The Portuguese Episcopal Conference (CEP) appealed this Wednesday, December 22, to Catholics to respect the distance in religious ceremonies, traditionally lived intensely during this Christmas period.

In a statement signed by the CEP General Secretariat, the body that brings together the Portuguese Catholic bishops "strongly recommends", given the "strong worsening of the current pandemic situation, mainly due to the new Ómicron variant of covid-19", which, "from the Christmas celebrations, including the Vigil Masses, there is an adequate distance between the participants, in accordance with the guidelines of the General Directorate of Health».

The communiqué also recalls that "prevention measures continue in force, such as the use of masks, proper hand hygiene and celebratory spaces and communion in the hand, among others."

The embrace of peace or the kiss in the image of the Baby Jesus are two of the gestures that, similarly to what happened at Christmas 2020, are also suspended this year.