22 Jan 2004

Catholic bishop in American Samoa moves to protect congregation from flu

5:42 pm on 22 January 2004

The head of the Catholic Church in American Samoa, Bishop Quinn Witzel, has taken steps to stop the spread of the flu virus through physical contact during services.

The bishop's actions follow measures undertaken in parishes throughout the US to combat the deadly flu strain that has claimed lives on the mainland.

The LBJ Hospital reports there have been no cases of this strain locally but the normal flu virus is continuing to infect large numbers of residents.

Bishop Quinn has instructed that wine, which is served from the one cup, will no longer be provided at communion.

The bishop also said that the holding of hands during the recital of the Lord's Prayer will be suspended until the flu epidemic has subsided.